Nov. 4, 2021 By Christian Murray (Updated)
A bicyclist was fatally struck by the driver of a box truck in Sunnyside Wednesday, police said.
Qiang Tu, 58, of Forest Hills, was riding his bicycle westbound on 47th Avenue at around 8:35 a.m. when he was struck by a box truck driver who was traveling on 47th Avenue in the same direction and hit him while turning onto 47th Street.
The trucker was driving with a suspended license.
The police were called to the scene and discovered Tu unconscious and unresponsive with severe injuries. He was transported to NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst where he was pronounced dead.
The driver, 33-year-old Shakai Waye of Newark, NJ, remained on the scene but was arrested and charged with Aggravated Unlicensed Operator. He was driving a 2015 Freightliner M21 Box Truck at the time of the crash.
The bike advocacy group Transportation Alternatives issued a statement condemning the mayor for the crash.
“Qiang Tu’s life could have been saved if Mayor de Blasio prioritized people over parking,” said Juan Restrepo, Senior Organizer and Queens Organizer at Transportation Alternatives.
“While there is a bike boulevard and three different protected bike lanes north of Queens Boulevard, the southern section of Sunnyside only has sharrows and painted bike lanes, offering no protection to residents commuting through the area. This area needs a comprehensive safety plan that will provide protected bike lanes connecting to the Kosciuszko Bridge, along the industrial corridor, and through popular bike thoroughfares like 47th Avenue. Saving lives should come before saving parking spots.”