Madison Lyden, 23, was cycling with a friend near Central Park in New York City on Friday afternoon (around 4:45pm local time) when she was fatally struck by a garbage truck driver.
“An investigation revealed that the female was riding a bicycle north bound on Central Park West, in the bicycle lane, when a black Toyota livery vehicle pulled out into the bike lane from a stopped position,” the NYPD spokesman said in a statement yesterday.
“The bicyclist swerved and was struck by a private carting truck, which was also travelling north bound on Central Park West.”
Local media reported that three beer cans were found in his truck, causing him to be arrested at the scene.
Truck driver Felipe D Chairez, 44, has since appeared in court and has been charged with drink driving, driving while ability impaired and operating a commercial vehicle with an alcohol reading of 0.04 per cent – 0.06 per cent or less, the NYPD have confirmed.
According to New York Post, Chairez’s lawyer argued in court that his driving was not impaired by the alcohol, because he ate a chicken-salad sandwich before he got behind the wheel.
Friends have paid tribute to Lyden on Facebook. "Rest in Peace Maddy. You brought so much love, light and laughter to my life, and I'll cherish that for a very long time. You were a bubbly and bright soul, and a wonderful friend. Thank you for everything we shared," Emily Boubis posted.
Another friend, Ashley Stevens, wrote "Mads, I cant find any words. Your tragic loss is heartbreaking. I am truly blessed to have known you and shared the good times we have. Your humble, independent and loving personality will always be one of a kind."