AN Australian tourist was killed when she was hit by a garbage truck while riding a bike beside Central Park, according to police in New York.
The woman died shortly after being struck by the truck when she pulled out of the way of another car on the Upper West Side shortly before 5pm Friday, local time.
Police identified her as Madison Jane Lyden, 23, and said she was on a holiday in New York.
An NYPD spokesman said she was taken to nearby Roosevelt Hospital but could not be revived.
“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.
“The bicyclist swerved and was struck by a private carting truck, which was also travelling north bound on Central Park West.”
Lyden, who was not wearing a helmet, was riding with a friend, witnesses told the New York Daily News.
They said she had tried to help her after the accident.
“She was shouting, ‘Baby, baby, baby, wake up,’” the witness reportedly said.
The accident happened at 4.42pm and is being investigated by the NYPD’s Collision Investigation Squad.
The truck driver was taken into custody after being questioned at the scene. Police said he was being evaluated for driving under the influence.
The driver of the car was not taken into custody.
Police Captain Timothy Malin said the truck driver was being tested for DUI after several beer cans were found in his cabin.
“Our preliminary investigation has found that the actions of the bicyclist did not contribute to the collision. The actions of the TLC (livery) vehicle driver did contribute to the collision.”
Capt Malin told local news website West Side Rag: “Whether that driver receives summonses or is arrested depends on the District Attorney’s office.”
The tragedy was quickly slammed as preventable by transport advocacy group Transportation Alternatives.
“Madison Jane Lyden is dead because her bike lane was blocked. It’s tragic, yes, but all the more unconscionable because this was a crash waiting to happen,” said Executive Director Paul Steely White.
“Every day in this city, bike lanes meant to protect people on bikes are used as drop-off lanes, parking lanes, and idling lanes for lazy and entitled drivers. As a city we should be ashamed, because this death could have been prevented.
“More and more people are travelling by bike in our city, and they need safe, protected space. And while we have more protected lane-miles today than ever before, this preventable death underscores the need for every major street in New York City to have a safe, protected space to travel by bike.”
Originally published as Aussie woman killed in New York