A bicycle delivery man who was critically injured when a tree fell on him in Red Hook on Monday has died.
Jin Liu, 50, was riding through Coffey Park at the same time a contractor for the Parks Department was pruning a large London Plane tree. It appears that workers failed to adequately warn Liu that he was biking into the path of a falling tree.
A Walk in the Park reports that the contractor, RML, allegedly failed to implement the proper safety protocols required when working with trees, including establishing work zones with cones, caution tape and a worker on the ground to flag approaching pedestrians and cyclists. Workers also allegedly neglected to implement a 360 degree drop zone around the base of the tree.
A Parks supervisor at the scene acknowledged that the contractor had made "a big mistake," according to A Walk In The Park. The work was part of an ongoing effort to renovate the park after it was thrashed by Hurricane Sandy.
"They've been doing this for a good four to five days,” Greg Archer, a friend of the victim’s, told CBS at the time. "But there’s no barricades for anybody to not go through there. So I can see if it’s barricades for people not to go through there, but there’s no barricades. So anybody’s accessible to walk through there, and this situation is going to happen."
Liu was rushed to Methodist Hospital following the incident, where he was listed in critical condition for two days before succumbing to his injuries. Ling Gee, the restaurant at which Liu worked, has started a GoFundMe page for his family, in which they refer fondly to Liu as "Bling."
"Bling always delivered [food] with a smile and warmth that made you feel like he was on the first rung of the American ladder, and that he had an optimism about himself and his prospects," the description reads. "Unfortunately, his time was cut short. Let's do what we can to show our appreciation."
RML has not responded to requests for comment. In a statement, the Parks Department said that it is "conducting a thorough investigation of this incident," and that "there is no further immediate danger to the public." It has also suspended RML for the duration of the investigation.