Antonio Flores

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Antonio Flores
Thursday, July 7, 2016
Age: 59

Broadway and Baxter
Queens , NY
United States
Photo by Laura A. Shepard from the Queens Chronicle

From the Queens Chronicle:

Antonio Flores, 59,
only lived in Elmhurst for eight days before he was struck by a driver
at the intersection of Broadway and Baxter Avenue while riding his bike.
He died from sepsis, organ failure caused by the trauma, a few days

Latinoamericanos de Nueva York members, safe streets advocates and
Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) gathered on Tuesday night to
install a Ghost Bike at the location. Although no one present knew
Flores, his memorial was emotional because his death felt personal to
everyone there.

Claudia Lorena Corcino, a leader of Ciclistas
Latinoamericanos de Nueva York, delivered a tribute and described the
crash that led to Flores’ death in Spanish.

“Ciclistas Latinoamericanos de Nueva York honor
this man because this cyclist represents so many others in this city,”
she translated for this reporter. “Cyclists use bikes every day as a way
to earn money to send to family members in other countries, others for
recreation and some to sell beverages or food in the park, or to deliver
food to people’s homes.”

Flores was biking east on Broadway when he was
hit by a driver who was making a left turn on to Baxter Avenue, at 8:05
a.m. on July 7. The driver stopped and spoke to him. He went to Elmhurst
Hospital because his arm hurt and he was quickly treated and
discharged. He returned to the hospital on July 10 because he felt faint
and died a day later.

He’d worked as a porter in a building on Britton
Avenue for four years, but only lived at 83-60 Vietor Ave. for a few
days before the crash.

Richard Previte is a member of the team that
builds the Ghost Bikes, the all-white bicycles placed to mark the places
cyclists were killed. Flores’ sported a red, blue and yellow Colombia
scarf around the handlebars, in homage to his homeland. Memorial
attendees wound flowers through the Ghost Bike’s frame and the spokes of
its wheels.

“All of us are bicycle riders,” Previte told the
crowd, “maybe not every day, but we’re out there on the streets and the
truth is, it could be any of us.”

Sporting a “Crash Not Accident” T-shirt, safe
streets advocate Christina Furlong said she hopes the Ghost Bike “serves
as a reminder to drivers that their actions can hurt people.”

“Crash Not Accident” is an advocacy campaign to
change the language used by law enforcement and the news media. “We
don’t say accident because that means no one is at fault, but that is
not the case,” Furlong explained.

Dromm called the installation “an act of love”
and said he was there as a fellow bicycling enthusiast who believes
something needs to be done to make roads safer for bicyclists and

“Now we really want to see a bike lane on
Broadway,” he said, after voicing support for the bike lanes on Queens
Boulevard and a bicycle connector route between the parks in the
northern part of the borough.

So far to date, 2016 has been an especially
dangerous year for city cyclists, as 14 have died since January, while
seven died in all of 2015. Also, this year, 22 pedestrians and cyclists
were killed by hit-and-run drivers.

“This is one of the many unfortunate things we do
as cycling advocates and something we do way too often,” Jaime Moncayo,
an organizer from Transportation Alternatives, said. “People like
Antonio are just trying to get to work.”

He observed that cycling is on the rise in Queens
and that the borough’s diversity is reflected in these cyclists. The
bike infrastructure is “pretty bad,” though, and Queens lags behind the
rest of the city, Moncayo says. “The need far outweighs the projects,”
she said.

“This is a call to the authorities because we
need more safe bike lanes,” Corcino exclaimed. “It’s our responsibility
as cyclists to follow the rules, and we need to be more alert to the
dangers too.”

She led everyone in raising their bikes in the air for a 30-second tribute to Flores before commencing a memorial ride.

The bilingual troupe of about 30 toured
Elmhurst’s streets, past the apartment Flores briefly lived in, beneath
the 7 train, along the bike lane on 34th Avenue and concluded the ride
at the gates to Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Riders alerted each other
to potholes and other hazards in English and Spanish and all together
rang their bells to warn idling double-parkers not to move.

“It was an excellent outcome and I’m so excited that so many cyclists showed up to honor Antonio and his life,” Corcino said.

From The Daily News:

Antonio Flores, 59, of Elmhurst was hit just after 8 a.m. on July 7 by a
motorist making a left turn from Broadway onto Baxter Ave. just outside
of Elmhurst Hospital Center, police said.

The motorist turned into Flores as they were both going east on Broadway, police said.

Flores had run the red light when he was hit, a police source said.

After the collision, the two men talked, but neither called 911.

Flores, who lived just three blocks from the hospital, went there and was

treated for a minor arm injury and released on July 9.

He went back to the hospital on July 10 and died the next day, police said.

The city medical examiner concluded that he died from sepsis due to a wound following blunt impact to an extremity.

Because the initial accident wasn’t immediately reported, and it took
time to confirm that an accident had taken place, the start of the
police investigation was delayed, a police source said.

Police could not say what date they were notified of the collision.

The investigation is still underway, cops said. They are trying to track down the motorist, a police source said.