Sept 13, 2021 By Allie Griffin
A GoFundMe page has been launched for the family of an Astoria delivery worker who was killed in a motorcycle crash in Sunnyside Friday afternoon.
The fund was established for the family of Noe Amador Licona, 32, who was tragically killed when he struck a car while riding his motorcycle northbound on 43rd Street, near Skillman Avenue. He crashed into the car at around 5:30 p.m. when the driver of the vehicle made an illegal U-turn midblock in front of him.
Licona, who had lived in Astoria since 2016, was making deliveries on his Kawasaki bike Friday when a 66-year-old man in a Chevy Cruze made the illegal U-turn. He slammed on his brakes to avoid hitting the car, but was thrown off his Kawasaki while braking and hit the Chevy, police said.
He was rushed to Elmhurst Hospital, but couldn’t be saved.
The 32-year-old immigrated to Astoria from Mexico in 2016 to better provide for his wife and six-year-old son back home, his cousin Jairo B. Amador Tolentino said in the GoFundMe page he created.
“He did not deserve to die this way,” Tolentino, who is also a delivery worker, wrote. “He was only 32 years old and dreamed of being able to see his son again.”
Tolentino has set a goal to raise $20,000 to cover Licona’s funeral expenses and provide financial support to his wife and son in Mexico.
Licona had worked as a delivery worker since he moved to Queens with apps like Relay and Grubhub. When the pandemic hit, he began working 12 hours a day, seven days a week to meet the demand of residents, Tolentino wrote.
“Unfortunately, we don’t make enough money doing this work and we are hoping to count [on] the support of the community to be able to cover all funeral costs and be able to provide some financial support to his family,” he wrote.
Members of the delivery worker labor collective Los Deliveristas Unidos held a candlelight vigil in Licona’s memory Saturday.
Licona is the third delivery worker in New York City to die in a traffic crash this month, according to the labor advocacy group Workers Justice Project.
#HappeningNow — #QueensDeliveristas honoring the life of Noe Amador Licona, who was killed yesterday. He is the third worker killed by traffic violence this month.
He leaves behind his wife & his 6-year-old son in Mexico!
DONATE to support his family: https://t.co/YtvNLgoHCu pic.twitter.com/rnkm6MxZIW
— Workers Justice ✊🏾 (@workersjusticep) September 12, 2021
His death comes amid increased scrutiny of the conditions delivery workers face and the low wages they receive despite the dangers and long hours of their jobs.
The median hourly wage for delivery workers in New York City is $7.94 — after netting expenses like electric bikes and batteries — according to a recent study conducted by Workers Justice Project and Cornell University.
Many workers reported driving through streets flooded with several feet of water for small tips as the remnants of Hurricane Ida pounded the city earlier this month.
Tolentino, who is a member of Los Deliveristas Unidos, said he would continue to fight for all delivery workers including those lost like his cousin.
“As an organized community and as part of Los Deliveristas Unidos — we [are] committed to seek[ing] justice for my cousin and all delivery workers,” he wrote.