Richard Oates, a 32-year-old skateboard shop owner from Greenpoint, died on Tuesday after he slipped from his skateboard while hanging onto the side of a truck as it headed along Delancey Street, police say.
Oates was riding his skateboard on Tuesday afternoon, gripping the passenger side of a green Mack truck as it drove west on Delancey, according to a preliminary NYPD investigation. Shortly after 1:15 p.m., Oates fell off of his skateboard and was run over by the truck's rear passenger-side wheels. EMS responded to the corner of Norfolk Street and transported Oates to Bellevue Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The large truck that struck Oates was carrying a shipping container, according to DNAInfo. One witness told the news outlet that the driver did not immediately stop when Oates was struck. "It appeared like the guy in the... truck didn't know he hit him," the witness said.
A spokesman for the NYPD said that the driver stayed on the scene, and that no charges have been filed. An investigation is ongoing.
Oates grew up on Long Island and had been living in Brooklyn for more than seven years when he died. The avid skateboarder worked as a chef for multiple Manhattan restaurants, including Left Bank in the West Village and Freemans on the Lower East Side, and lived in Greenpoint with his family.
Oates opened East River Skate Shop in Greenpoint last summer with his wife Marisa, a school teacher, according to an early Bedford & Bowery review of the shop. The couple has two children—a baby and a toddler.
The skate shop, Oates explained, was a venture that he hoped would allow for more family time. "I spent the past decade working in kitchens, and I'm taking a hiatus from it. We just had a baby, and we have a three-and-a-half year old, so I wanted to be available as a father," he said in a promotional video for the shop published over the summer.
Oates talked to New York magazine in July about his renewed interest in skating. "I got back into skateboarding a while ago as a way to blow of steam, so the jump to a skate shop seemed logical," he said.
UPDATE: Friends and family have set up a GoFundMe page, the full balance of which will go to Oates' wife and two young children.
UPDATE 5:45: In response to a tip that the driver did not remain on the scene as previously stated by the NYPD, a spokeswoman for the department declined comment citing an ongoing investigation.