The 28th annual NYC Century Bike Tour was marred by tragedy Sunday morning when an allegedly drunk driver crashed into a group of cyclists waiting at a red light in Borough Park.
The crash took place at 39th Street and 12th Avenue just after 9 a.m., police said. According to the NYPD, a 55-year-old woman was taken to Maimonides in likely condition, and a 31-year-old man refused medical attention. The FDNY said there were three victims, the two mentioned by NYPD plus another unidentified victim who refused medical attention on the scene.
Police confirmed that the driver, a 39-year-old male, is currently in custody, and the vehicle is a Dodge. Video from the scene shows firefighters working on a victim under what looks to be a minivan:
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"We're still getting trying to gather information, but the driver was allegedly drunk and hit four riders, one of whom was dragged under the car and allegedly hit a couple times," Caroline Samponaro, a spokesperson for Transportation Alternatives, which hosts the Century Bike Tour, told Gothamist.
The long-running event typically draws some 6,000 cyclists, and riders have the option of four separate rides through Brooklyn and Manhattan. The routes, which vary between 35 and 100 miles, "showcase a carefully curated section of the city's now 1,000+ miles of bike lane networks and greenways."
This is the first year that a serious collision has occurred since the inaugural Century Bike Tour in 1990, according to Samponaro.
"Right now our focus is very much on victims and their families and doing what we can to make sure investigation is thorough," she added. "It was a beautiful day, people are out enjoying it on two wheels and there's simply no excuse for this. It's devastating."
UPDATE: The driver has been charged with driving while intoxicated and driving with a suspended license.
Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, said in a statement: “Early this morning, four New Yorkers who were participating in a Transportation Alternatives group bike ride were mowed down by a driver in Borough Park. This is devastating news on what is supposed to be a joyful day of cycling in New York City. Every New Yorker who ride a bikes deserves to be able to travel safely and free from harm. Our thoughts are with the family of the victim, and we are praying for her speedy recovery.”