Nancy Pease, 55, passed away on September 22nd, twelve days after a drunk, unlicensed driver plowed into her and other NYC Century Bike Tour riders in Brooklyn, police confirmed Friday.
Pease, who lived in Sunnyside, Queens, was a teacher, singer and runner, according to friends and family who posted their condolences on Facebook. She was a board member with the Oratorio Society of Queens and joined the Long Island City Runners Club shortly before her death.
"We are deeply saddened, but we have found no shortage of comfort in all of your kindness and support throughout this ordeal," family member Christopher Pease wrote on Facebook last month.
"Nancy was such an awesome human being...confident, adventurous, smart, and caring," family member Stephanie Soricelli Scocchera wrote on Facebook. "She was a teacher like I was and that was a major topic of conversation between the two of us."
Witnesses say 39-year-old driver Abel Antonio Pino Morocho struck four cyclists, including Pease, as they waited for a red light in Borough Park on Sunday, September 10th shortly after 9:00 a.m. The crash took place at 39th Street and 12th Avenue.
Pino Maorocho's blood alcohol concentration was recorded at .266, passing a threshold that experts say can lead to "near total loss of motor functions, little response to stimuli, inability to stand or walk, vomiting, and incontinence," according to his criminal complaint.
Pease became lodged under Pino Morocho's vehicle and remained there until medical personnel arrived at the scene. As of September 13th she was in a coma at Maimonides Hospital, where she underwent treatment for liver laceration, abdominal bleeding, traumatic brain injury, and an injury to her spleen requiring its removal.
Morocho was charged last month with vehicular assault, driving without a license, and driving while impaired. He was ordered held on $250,000 bail by Brooklyn Criminal Court Judge Joseph McCormick.
The NYC Century Bike Tour is an annual ride that draws thousands of cyclists to four separate routes throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. Transportation Alternatives, a group that advocates for safer streets, hosts the event, which is intended to "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 tour's 1990 launch, according to the group.
"Our opinion continues to be that this was such a senseless act of violence, and Nancy was doing something that a quarter of a million New Yorkers do on a regular basis: riding her bike on a beautiful day," Transportation Alternatives spokeswoman Caroline Samponaro said Friday. "We're devastated, and more committed to our mission to design streets that make it impossible for drivers like this one to do what he did."
Pease's death marks the first traffic-related fatality at 39th Street and 12th Avenue since 2009, according to Vision Zero's injury and fatality tracker. A pedestrian has been injured at the intersection of 38th and 12th in that time frame, and another at 37th and 12th.