Saturday, November 9, 2019 marks another tragedy in New York. At around 2:30am, 25-year-old Matt Travis was riding his bicycle in the bike lane at the foot of the Willis Avenue Bridge in East Harlem when a Kenworth dump truck, traveling southbound along First Avenue, made an illegal left turn onto East 125th Street and slammed into Travis before a number of horrified witnesses.
The truck driver did not stop and continued onto the bridge towards the Bronx. Travis suffered severe body trauma and was rushed to Harlem Hospital. Sadly, he was pronounced dead. According to the police, an investigation is still ongoing.
What is even more devastating about this incident is that the death was entirely preventable, had the garbage truck driver simply obeyed traffic laws. However, the hit-and-run driver blatantly ignored the sign that directed all traffic to the right. Now, the life of a young man with aspirations was cut short due to negligent driving. This is unacceptable, and what’s more – it highlights a systemic issue. Matt Travis was not the first, second, or third cyclist to be killed on the streets of New York this year. He was the 27th killed in 2019 alone – evidence that in addition to blatant disregard for traffic rules on the part of motorists involved in these fatal auto accidents, the New York City government has also not implemented infrastructure to protect their cyclists.
The 25-year-old was an independent professional wrestler who had been training for an upcoming match, which was scheduled for Saturday night. His cousin Shaina Alvarez told CBS New York that Travis “was a good kid” who was very focused on wrestling and whose goal was to “get his mom and family out of the Bronx.” Multiple stars from the wrestling world paid tribute to Travis.
At the foot of the Willis Avenue Bridge lies a memorial for Matt Travis where friends and family gathered that day. Our hearts go out to Travis’s loved ones after this devastating incident.
All motorists, especially drivers of large vehicles, must strictly adhere to traffic rules when driving on the road. In a city as densely populated as New York, any disregard for traffic signals can be catastrophic – even fatal – to a large number of victims. Cyclists have virtually no protection when they collide with vehicles, and many times, collisions with large trucks have proven deadly.
Our lawyers have seen firsthand the devastation that a negligent party can cause. We’ve worked with many hard-working people whose lives were irrevocably changed by those who blatantly violated safety rules and regulation. In one case, a cyclist became paralyzed after subway workers dropped a railroad tie on top of him. Our firm fought the case in front of a Brooklyn jury and won a $110 million verdict on behalf of the client. In another case, a Vietnam veteran suffered severe brain damage after he was hit by a driver impaired on drugs. Our lawyers fought the case on his behalf, and he was ultimately awarded $32 million by the jury. We’ve also worked with loved ones in wrongful death cases to help families get the justice they deserve after their loved ones’ lives are unexpectedly cut short.
For anyone who has ever lost a loved one in a tragic accident, we are here to help you understand your legal rights. To speak with an attorney, please call 212-736-5300 or fill out our Contact Form, and a lawyer will reach out to you as soon as possible.