Police have arrested the driver of a Ryder rental truck who they say fatally struck a cyclist in Sheepshead Bay on Tuesday. Yesterday afternoon, cops closed in on Junior Hicks, who allegedly drove into Can Reng Ma, a 54-year-old Chinese immigrant, killing him.
The crash occurred at about 5 p.m. on Tuesday, when police say Ma was cycling along Avenue U and Hicks was driving parallel. Cops say they're not sure what caused the crash, but that after Hicks ran Ma down at East Ninth Street, he kept going.
"His whole pelvis was broken, his lungs, liver," Ma's daughter Yan Ping told the Daily News. "And the driver just hit and run, leaving my father lying on the floor."
At least one person chased the box truck, but Hicks turned right on East Eighth Street and drove out of sight, ABC7 reported.
Ma was returning home from his job at a lumber warehouse when he was hit. He moved his family to the U.S. from China seven years ago. Yan Ping told ABC that she wishes she could talk to Hicks.
"I really want to ask him why he did that to my father and left my father there," she said. "Just call the police, 911—maybe my father could be saved."
Police found Hicks, a resident of Queens Village, with the help of the Ryder company, a police spokesman said. A preliminary investigation indicates that Hicks did not know he had struck someone, according to the spokesman.
Paul Steely White, director of road-safety advocacy group Transportation Alternatives, railed against police spreading this narrative in the media, calling it part of a "longstanding pattern" of "victim-blaming" that "hardens the public perception that drivers should not be held accountable for dangerous choices, and crash victims should not be given the benefit of the doubt."
"If the city is going to get to Vision Zero, the NYPD has an essential role to play in changing the culture, so that New Yorkers understand that collisions like the one that has devastated the family of Can Reng Ma are preventable," White said in a statement.
Hicks faces a charge of leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in death, a felony that carries as many as seven years in prison. He is being held on $25,000 bail, court records show.
Prior to Tuesday's crash, the intersection of East Ninth Street and Avenue U had been the scene of one crash so far this year, and five in 2015. One crash, in April 2015, injured a motorist, NYPD data show.