Neftaly Ramirez, 27, received a promotion a few weeks before he was fatally struck by a hit-and-run driver while cycling home from a shift at the Greenpoint outpost of pizza restaurant Paulie Gee's early Saturday morning, proprietor Paul Giannone told Gothamist on Monday.

"He washed dishes for a while and he was engaged to be married and he was very excited about that, and he wanted the opportunity to make more money," Giannone said. "And I just recently had the opportunity to promote him to a bar back, and he was very excited about that. And the staff was very supportive about him, and helped him."

Ramirez, known as "Neffy" to his coworkers, worked at Paulie Gee's for close to a year, Giannone said. In Miami on business over the weekend, Giannone flew back to New York as soon as he heard about his employee's death.

"He was a very gentle and innocent young man," Giannone added. "That's the best way to describe his demeanor.... The most important aspect of his job was the social aspect of it. He loved being with his coworkers."

Ramirez, who lived in the East Village, was fatally struck shortly after 12:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 22nd, according to the NYPD. A preliminary report from the Collision Investigation Squad found that he was cycling on Franklin Street when a garbage truck driver, headed south, turned right on Noble Street and struck him. The driver then fled the scene and Ramirez was pronounced dead.

A police source told Gothamist over the weekend that Ramirez was on a black and yellow bike, and that the green and white sanitation truck was believed to have been operated by a private sanitation company. A spokesman for the department said Monday that no arrests have been made. He added that police have not been able to determine which direction Ramirez was cycling on Franklin Street, which is two-way.

There had been no fatal crashes involving cyclists at the intersection of Franklin and Noble Streets before Saturday according to the Vision Zero crash tracker, which compiles data back to 2009 (the map was most recently updated on May 31st). Cyclists have been injured in the vicinity on Franklin Street, however, which has bike stencils indicating a cycling route but no painted lanes. The Vision Zero map shows one injury at the intersection of Java Street, one at Eagle Street, and one at Oak Street since 2009.

"In a conflict between a private hauler and cyclist, or a bus and a cyclist, the cyclist has no chance," said Caroline Samponaro, a spokeswoman for Transportation Alternatives. "So the stakes are very high. And we know that there are proven ways to prevent these crashes, and that's a physical separation."

Franklin Street is ripe for a protected bike lane, she said, as it leads directly into the protected lane on Kent Avenue and is "a route that has been determined a good bike route."

Giannone, who lives part-time in New Jersey, has an apartment near the intersection of Franklin and Noble, where Ramirez was killed.

"When I first came here seven years ago I rode my bike around the neighborhood, and that's the last time I've ever ridden a bike," Giannone said. "There's a debate about who the roads are for, and I'm not getting into that. All I know is... I live on the corner of Franklin and Noble, and the noise we hear from the trucks and the buses that barrel down Franklin Street is far worse than anything you are going to hear from our restaurant."

"These garbage trucks are the worst offenders," he added. "They barrel around corners... All I know is that Neffy deserves to be alive."

Mayor de Blasio passed legislation in December 2015 doubling hit-and-run fines. But some say stronger measures most be taken, at the state level. Currently, the maximum penalty for a DWI exceeds that for a hit-and-run—a discrepancy that advocates say motives drivers to flee.