For more info, go here – Ride of Silence
Category Archives: Ghost Bikes
A utilitarian cyclist, Deborah Carpenter, who (apparently) was struck down by a motor vehicle while riding home from work. The crash was near 847 Loudon Rd, Colonie. She was left in the road alive but in a coma and in critical condition. Deborah faithfully rides her bicycle to and from work.
From the report, it is hard to conceive that this was a bicycle-only event. Details hopefully to follow from police. Read on – https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Police-ask-for-witnesses-in-bike-crash-16444059.php
Several cyclists wrote in with these comments:
From DD: I live not that far from the Latham Traffic Circle and frequently have to deal with the potential hazards of that intersection. I experienced a minor incident a couple of years ago where I was heading North on Route 9. I entered the Circle when a car coming up from behind through the Circle on my left; decided to make a right onto Route 2 heading East. I was thereby forced to alter my course at the last second and turn to the right. I was side swiped by the car and was knocked to the ground. The car did stop and I was able to get up off the pavement before the passing of additional traffic. The driver apologized and asked if I was all right. Both the car and the bike had minor scratches and I experienced some minor cuts and bruises; but was basically all right. I saw no need to get the insurance companies involved. He asked again if I was all right before we continued on our ways. I am NOT a fan of traffic circles. I am cautious when dealing with traffic circles and depending on the time of day and volume of traffic will go out of my way to detour around them. [Emphasis added.] I sincerely hope for a speedy recovery for the injured cyclist.
From IV: I heard a newscast, but missed the TU article. Please let me know if I can donate to a fund for Deborah. RE the exam of the bike by police: sometimes if only the back tire is hit, no scratches, paint chips etc. are found, however the rear wheel is significantly out of line with the brakes out of line as well. (My back wheel after the crash impacting me was greatly distorted.) It is worth getting that thought to Colonie Police.
From JF: So awful to hear. Hope they get the information they need to move forward.
UPDATE 9-21-21: John Host Lynch Memorial Gathering – Sat, 9/25, 2:30 PM – Join us at the Albany Barn, 56 Second St., Albany, on September 25 at 2:30 pm to celebrate the life of John Lynch. We encourage you to share stories and memories after a brief ceremony. Friends and family welcome. Questions? – Layla, (845) 616-0626 or the Facebook.
John, a local bicycle and bike rescue luminary and Honest Weight Food Co-op worker, was killed in a car crash in Kingston on 7/20/21. See below. Obituary – John Lynch Obituary (1964 – 2021) – Kingston, NY – Daily Freeman (legacy.com)
John Lynch – 7/20/21 – John was active in the Capital Region bicycle scene and was heavily involved in Troy Bike Rescue as a volunteer and board member. He always had a happy word or smile to share. The fatal crash occurred on Washington Ave. in Kingston. Bike-Friendly Kingston held a memorial ride for John on 7/23/21. One of the comments at Bike-Friendly Kingston, NY | Facebook was “I want to share my appreciation to everyone who attended this event and helped make it happen. As one of the riders who was with John when this accident occurred, seeing such strong community support has been really helpful to my healing. To those who knew John, I want you to know that his last hours seemed filled with a lot of joy. The big smile that was on his face for much of his last ride will always be with me.”
John was active in Kingston as a bike tech at the YMCA’s “Lend a Wheel” Program – see – PHOTOS: Lend a Wheel – Daily Freeman This program offers bicycle repair clinics, loans, and giveaways.
“We also lost a longtime staff person, John Lynch, to a bicycle accident (sic.) in July. John was a bicycle safety advocate and social justice advocate, among all the other things that were commendable about his character. No obituary is available for John at this time. Our hearts and condolences go out to all those who knew and loved John.” (From Honest Weight Food Co-op’s “Honest Slate” Newsletter, 8/21 https://www.dropbox.com/s/ubh69he1lqsgo76/2021%20August%20Slate%20FINAL.pdf?dl=0 )
From Troy Bike Rescue …
Photos courtesy Carrie Will and Kingston YMCA
The bicycle community was again saddened by the death of another young cyclist struck and killed by two motor vehicles. See Channel 10 Report. The report is not clear on how the crash occurred but states, “no tickets or charges have been filed” and “New York State Police are investigating …” while … “the investigation remains ongoing.“ See also The Leader Hearld.
William “Billy” Drake lived in Mayfield on Sacandaga Lake 50 miles NW of Albany. See also obituary.
On 8/7/20, cyclist Mike installed William’s ghost bike and made these observations: “I installed the Ghost Bike for Billy Drake today. It is on NYS Rt. 30 North of Dennie Loop Rd. The site shows that the road shoulder is 8 ft. wide, and totally clear of any reason to veer into the roadway [Ed: as alleged by the motor vehicle operator]. I noticed some auto trim plastic near the tree I selected to secure the bike to, so I suspect this may have been from the accident but can’t be sure.”
In closing, he stated, “Installing a Ghost Bike is a gripping experience.” Having had this experience on too many occasions, this is truly an apt observation.
If one looks at Rt. 30 for the full stretch by Dennie Loop Rd. (see Google Map), the road is absolutely straight and clear with but four driveways on the opposite side from the crash site and no visible obstructions. The shoulders on Rt. 30 are 8 ft. wide.
The Crash Scene – The first image is of State Rt. 30 looking north. Billy was traveling South (toward you) on this shoulder. The crash was in this approximate location. (The tire marks on the pavement are near the scene, but not related to it.) This shows that the shoulder is very wide and very clean.
This does not explain why Billy would have turned into traffic as alleged. The shoulder left of the cables was relatively clean with no glass, just a small amount of trash, and some plastics auto trim pieces (that might have been related).
The second image is from across the road with the new ghost bike just visible in the left center.
Gloversville’s The Leader Hearld provided the following report (lightly edited): Two people in one of the vehicles involved in a July 4 bicyclist crash that killed a 16-year-old Mayfield resident have been arrested for allegedly false information on the fatal accident. Benjamin Govel, 27, of Clifton Park was charged by State Police on Thursday with making a false written statement, a misdemeanor, and third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, also a misdemeanor. Also charged was Breanna J. Ferrara, 27, of Halfmoon with first-degree falsifying business records, a felony.
The two were charged after police discovered they had allegedly provided false information on the fatal accident that led to the death of William Drake. The pair had allegedly lied about who was driving the second vehicle that had hit Drake.
The 16-year-old bicyclist had been traveling on the southbound shoulder of Rt. 30, facing east and began to enter the roadway when the first vehicle driven by 23-year-old Julie Tineo, of Amsterdam, swerved into the oncoming lane to avoid hitting him. The front passenger side of the vehicle hit the front tire of the bike, spinning Drake and sending him further into the southbound lane.
It was originally reported that the second vehicle driven by Ferrara was unable to stop or avoid the bike, striking Drake in the roadway. Drake was taken to Nathan Littauer Hospital where he died.
However police determined that Ferrara was the passenger of the second vehicle and Govel was the actual driver. Police issued Govel and Ferrara appearance tickets, and they are scheduled to appear in Mayfield Town Court on Aug. 11, 3 p.m.
The Context – For a run down on area fatalities of people on bicycles, go to “Roads Remain Unsafe for People on Bicycles.” If this report does not convince you of the subject line’s veracity, well …
16-Year-Old Struck and Killed – The bicycle community was again saddened by the death of another young cyclist struck and killed by two motor vehicles. See – https://www.news10.com/top-stories/police-16-year-old-on-bicycle-killed-after-crashing-into-car-on-state-highway-30/ The report is not clear on how the crash occurred but states that “no tickets or charges have been filed” and “New York State Police are investigating while … “The investigation remains ongoing.“
The Scene – If one looks at Rt 30 for the full stretch by Dennie Loop Rd. (see https://www.google.com/maps/search/Dennie+Loop+Road,+in+the+town+of+Mayfieldemail@example.com,-74.2480724,48m/data=!3m1!1e3 ) the shoulders on Rt 30 are a generous 10 ft wide (using Google measurement tool).
David Ryan – June 29, 2004 (age 32)
Roger L. Sawyer – October 19, 2017 (age 30)
Ride of Silence – COVID-19 forced the Albany Bicycle Coalition to postpone its annual Ride of Silence to commemorate the injury and death of people on bicycles.
The Growing List – Notice in the following lists the frequency of drunk, reckless, sleeping, and inattentive drivers. Ghost bike memorial locations* are now as follows:
- William Drake – July 4, 2020 (age 16) Bicyclist hit by two cars, Rt. 30, Mayfield
- Edston J. Kirnon – July 22, 2017 (age 42) Bicyclist collided with side of CDTA bus, N. Pearl St., Albany
- Roger L. Sawyer – October 19, 2017 (age 30) Bicyclist run down by SUV, Washington Ave. Ext., Albany
Roger L. Sawyer – October 19, 2017 (age 30)
- John J. Cummings – January 27, 2016 (age 65) Bicyclist run down from behind and killed, Amsterdam Rd., Glenville
John J. Cummings – January 27, 2016 (age 65)
- Robert Agne, DVM – September 7, 2015 (age 54) Bicyclist killed by sleeping driver crossed centerline, Rt. 30 Pawlet, VT
Robert Agne, DVM – September 7, 2015 (age 54)
- Stephen Nolan – June 2, 2014 (age 53) Bicyclist killed by car, King & Federal Sts., Troy
- Brian Bailey – March 11, 2014 (age 37) Bicyclist killed by truck, Route 9W, Ravena
- Matthew Ratelle – December 20, 2012 (age 40) Bicyclist killed by impaired driver, Rt. 22, Petersburg
- Paul J. Merges, Jr. – November 24, 2012 (age 45) Bicyclist killed by drunk driver, Manning Blvd. & Roosevelt St., Albany
- Nicholas Richichi – October 19, 2007 (age 53), Bicyclist killed by motor coach, Fuller Rd., Colonie
- Diva De Loayza – June 6, 2007 (age 40) Bicyclist killed by car, Western Ave. at Homestead Ave., Albany
- Alan R. Fairbanks – October 29, 2006 (age 72) Bicyclist hit by car/died, Rt. 5-S at bicycle path, Rotterdam)
- Jose Perez – August 3, 2006 (age 60) Bicyclist killed by SUV, Broadway at Quay St., Albany.
- Joel Melnikoff – July 3, 2006 (age 49) Bicyclist killed by drunk driver, Rt. 32, Bethlehem
Joel’s 11/18/07 ghost bike and its 2020 replacement (thanks to MHCC):
- David Ryan – June 29, 2004 (age 32) Bicyclist killed by reckless driver, Riverview Rd., Rexford
- Robert F. Zayhowski – July 16, 2000 (age 43) Bicyclist killed by drunk driver/SUV, Rt. 66, Sand Lake
Matthew Ratelle – December 20, 2012 (age 40)
Paul J. Merges, Jr. – November 24, 2012 (age 45)
Additional Incidences (From the Times Union archives provided in 2007) – Earlier deaths are as follows:
- Eric M. Taylor, July 2, 2007 (age 18) Hit by car (swerved into traffic), Rt. 197, Fort Edward
- Bill Page, Aug. 2, 2004 (age 79) Hit by car (swerved into traffic – tire blowout?) Rt. 9, Saratoga County
- Larry Finkle, Nov. 17, 2001 (age 54) Hit by a drunk driver while crossing Rt. 9, Malta in the dark
- James V. Percent, Aug. 19, 1998 (age 50) Killed in head-on collision with a city trash collection truck, Albany
- Thomas Van Patten, June 12, 1997 (age 71) Rode into path of a car, Rt. 9, Schodack
- Joseph Raymond Hebert, Aug. 22, 1997 (age) Rode into path of tractor-trailer, Glens Falls
- Andrew Spiller, June 7, 1992 (age 26 of Rochester) Participating in an endurance bicycle race when hit around 1:00 AM by 18-year-old drunk driver Jason Lamphere, Rt. 29A, Town of Stratford. Woman who provided beer to Lamphere (who also died). later charged with unlawfully dealing with a child
- Albert Lester, June 7, 1992 (age 31 of Westwood, Mass) Participating in the above race when hit around 2:00 AM by drunk driver Gerald S. Hill, Jr., 18. County Rd. 119, Town of Ephratah. Hill later sentenced to 1-1/3 to 4 years in prison. Denied parole in 1994. The owner of the market where Hill bought beer that night charged with unlawfully dealing with a child. (This was the second year for the endurance, but it was never held again after the two deaths.)
- Donald Conklin, June 15, 1990 (age 22) Hit by a car while riding through a parking lot off Rt. 9, Hudson
- Edward Sinclair, June 11, 1987 (age 25 of Schenectady) Hit by a car after riding through a stop sign, Vrooman Ave. and E. Main St., Amsterdam
- Andrew W. Hummel, March 24, 1987 (age 22 of Latham) Hit by a car on Rt. 9, Colonie. No one charged, but it appears driver was at fault
- Robert Palmer (age 14) and David R. West (age 16) Sept. 6, 1986 Hit by drunk driver, Rt. 50, Ballston Spa. Driver Randy L. Hotaling later sentenced to 1-1/3 to 4 years in prison
- Vicki A. Spezio, July 4, 1986 (age 13) Hit by drunk driver while trying to cross Central Ave., Colonie on her bike. Driver Charles P. Wells later sentenced to 60 days in prison and three years probation (the jury blamed the cyclist)
Alan R. Fairbanks – October 29, 2006 (age 72
Diva De Loayza – June 6, 2007 (age 40)
Nicholas Richichi – October 19, 2007 (age 53)
*The City of Albany removed all its ghost bikes in 2014.