Category Archives: Death on the Road

World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims

We ask that all friends of safer streets sign the following online petition to tell the Governor that you want her to sign Assemblymember Fahy’s Complete Streets Funding Bill:  https://p2a.co/rkhfcrb.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<  Press Release >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

For Immediate Release

November 18, 2022

Contact

Ed Brennan

President Albany Bicycle Coalition

518-416-5692

edpbrennan@yahoo.com

November 18, 2022. Academy Park, Albany, NY.  Today, local members of the NYS Safe Streets Coalition, The Albany Bicycle Coalition, Walkable Albany, Parks & Trails New York, New York Assemblymember Patricia Fahy, family members of traffic violence victims and others gathered in recognition of the victims of traffic violence in the City of Albany and the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.  

We read the names of pedestrians and cyclists who died in traffic collisions in Albany since 2017.  We asked that Albany and New York State take the steps necessary to prevent needless deaths and serious injuries caused by traffic crashes in our City.  All the citizens of Albany have a right to safe mobility.  

We need action now because traffic violence is getting worse and hitting home.

  • Nationally, in the past two years, almost 20 percent more people died in traffic crashes, according to National Safety Council (NSC) estimates. That’s 42 thousand people. And the number is rising. 
  • An estimated 7% more people have been killed in the first quarter of 2022, compared to the same quarter last year. This may be the highest number of first quarter fatalities in twenty years.
  • So far in 2022, Albany has seen the senseless loss of Tanisha Brathwaite, Kathleen McBride and Larry Cunningham to traffic violence.  

“New Yorkers are at serious risk of injury or death due to rising traffic violence – according to the Governors Highway Safety Association, crashes killing pedestrians increased 46% from 2010 to 2020, compared to just a 5% increase for all other crash fatalities,” said Assemblymember Pat Fahy (D-Albany). “By developing our communities into more walkable, multi-modal transportation-friendly places to be – we’re saving lives and reducing traffic violence by keeping pedestrians, motorists, and cyclists safe on our streets. Specifically, legislation I sponsor that was passed by the state legislature this year to expand the use of complete street design in transportation projects is important to building a more walkable and multi-modal New York and reducing traffic violence. I thank the Albany Bicycle Coalition and Safe Streets Coalition for continuing to bring attention to traffic violence in our communities and advocate for a state where all of us can feel and be safe on our roads.”

We ask that all friends of safer streets sign the following online petition to tell the Governor that you want her to sign Assemblymember Fahy’s Complete Streets Funding Bill:  https://p2a.co/rkhfcrb.

Traffic violence is a preventable public health crisis. There are proven steps that can be taken to save lives and prevent serious injuries.  On World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, communities all over the globe are organizing events to demand change.  This Day of Remembrance was brought to the U.S. by the Families for Safe Streets, a national organization that was founded by the families of loved ones who were killed or injured in crashes in New York. These are the demands we presented to Mayor Sheehan and the Albany City Council to make our roads safer for all that use them:

  • Reducing the Citywide Speed Limit to 25 MPH.   This will prevent collisions and make them less serious.  The slower the speed limit the greater the field of vision for drivers and the less devastating the result of any impact.  Only 1 in 10 pedestrians will survive a collision at 40 mph.   At the current City speed limit of 30 mph 5 out of 10 survive.  At 20 mph 9 out of 10 survive.
  • Making Safety Analysis and Improvement Part of Regular Road Maintenance.  Many road departments have a tendency to just repave and repaint streets exactly as they were.  This has the effect of preserving existing dangers instead of fixing safety problems when it is most cost effective.
  • Narrowing Crossing Distances and Daylighting Intersections.  State law prohibits parking or standing within 20 feet of a crosswalk or 30 feet of a stop or yield sign, however these laws are routinely ignored.   Albany can make intersections safer by actively preventing such parking through deployment of paint, bollards, bike racks, curb extensions and eco-friendly rain gardens.  These methods also narrow intersections allowing vulnerable road users to cross roads with less exposure to traffic.
  • Deploying Speed Humps.  The City should expand its test deployment of speed humps to other parts of the City that are troubled by dangerous speeders.
  • Improving Sidewalks and Crosswalks.  The City has too many areas where crosswalks and sidewalks are in a state of neglect or non-existent.  
  • Deploying Pedestrian Priority Traffic Signals.  Our busy pedestrian intersections should have a “leading pedestrian interval” when all traffic has a red light to enhance the visibility of pedestrians in the intersection and to reinforce their right-of-way over turning vehicles
  • Improving Bicycle Infrastructure.  Albany needs to do more to separate bicyclists from motor traffic.  The City’s major roads should have separate bicycle lanes and preferably protected bicycle lanes.
  • Albany Must Have a Plan for Implementation of its Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan.  The Master Plan did a great job of identifying needs and solutions for the City’s lackluster bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.  The City needs a plan of action and budget to address the needs identified.  
  • Deploying Speed Cameras.  Speeding has become increasingly problematic since COVID.  We have been told our police department is short staffed and has a limited capacity to attend to traffic enforcement.  Speed cameras need to be deployed to identify those deadly speeders that our police cannot.
  • Back in Angle Parking.  Reverse angle parking provides safer roadways since drivers are able to see other vehicles and cyclists easier (and much sooner) when exiting out of their parking spots as compared to standard angle parking.

On the state level we asked for the following:

  • The Governor’s signature on the Complete Streets funding bill passed by the NY Assembly and Senate and sponsored by our own Assemblymember Patricia Fahy.
  • Passage of the Complete Streets Maintenance Bill so that funding is permitted for cost effective safety improvements during repaving and other maintenance projects.
  • Passage of the Crash Victims Bill of Rights to guarantee crash victims and their families rights to incident reports and a voice in legal proceedings.
  • Passage of the Safe Passage Bill requiring drivers to provide a minimum of three feet when passing cyclists.
  • Passage of an Upstate Speed Camera Bill allowing municipalities outside of New York City to opt for speed cameras to identify deadly speeders.

We recognize that the City of Albany and New York State have taken some steps to improve safety and we appreciate those champions of safe streets that are among our elected and public officials.  However, the endless and increasing toll of needless deaths and injuries from traffic violence demands that the above steps be taken, that efforts be redoubled and that greater resources be applied to to prevent these tragedies.

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On Friday, 11/18/22,we will gather to honor the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (which falls on Sunday, 11/20). The Albany Bicycle Coalition, Walkable Albany, Parks and Trails New York, and others will gather at noon in Academy Park at Eagle and Washington Avenues, across Eagle from Albany City Hall, and across Washington Ave from East Capitol Park and the NYS Capitol. We will recognize the victims of traffic violence in the City of Albany and the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. We will read the names of pedestrians and cyclists who have died in traffic collisions in Albany since 2017. We will ask that Albany take the steps necessary to prevent needless deaths and serious injuries caused by traffic crashes in our city.

We ask that the City adopt a Vision Zero Strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all.  To be effective this Vision Zero Strategy needs to include a regularly updated action plan with action items that are addressed as a normal part of budgeted road and sidewalk work.  The City of Hoboken, NJ adopted such a strategy and has not had a traffic death since 2018.  Following the example of Hoboken and other cities, these are practical and often inexpensive steps Albany needs to adopt for safe mobility:

  • Reducing the Citywide Speed Limit to 25 MPH (Hoboken lowered theirs to 20 mph).   This will prevent collisions and make them less serious.  The slower the speed limit the greater the field of vision for drivers and the less devastating the result of any impact.  Only 1 in 10 pedestrians will survive a collision at 40 mph.   At the current City speed limit of 30 mph 5 out of 10 survive.  At 20 mph 9 out of 10 survive.
  • Making Safety Analysis and Improvement Part of Regular Road Maintenance.  Many road departments have a tendency to just repave and repaint streets exactly as they were.  This has the effect of preserving existing dangers instead of fixing safety problems when it is most cost effective.
  • Narrowing Crossing Distances and Daylighting Intersections.  State law prohibits parking or standing within 20 feet of a crosswalk or 30 feet of a stop or yield sign, however these laws are routinely ignored.   Like Hoboken, Albany can make intersections safer by actively preventing such parking through deployment of paint, bollards, bike racks, curb extensions and eco-friendly rain gardens.  These methods also narrow intersections allowing vulnerable road users to cross roads with less exposure to traffic.
  • Deploying Speed Humps.  The City should expand its test deployment of speed humps to other parts of the City that are troubled by dangerous speeders.
  • Improving Sidewalks and Crosswalks.  The City has too many areas where crosswalks and sidewalks are in disrepair or non-existent.  
  • Deploying Pedestrian Priority Traffic Signals.  Our busy pedestrian intersections should have a “leading pedestrian interval” when all traffic has a red light to enhance the visibility of pedestrians in the intersection and to reinforce their right-of-way over turning vehicles
  • Improving Bicycle Infrastructure.  Albany needs to do more to separate bicyclists from motor traffic.  The City’s major roads should have separate bicycle lanes and preferably protected bicycle lanes.
  • Albany Must Have a Plan for Implementation of its Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan.  The Master Plan did a great job of identifying needs and solutions for the City’s lackluster bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.  The City needs a plan of action and budget to address the needs identified.  
  • Deploying Speed Cameras.  Speeding has become increasingly problematic since COVID.  We have been told our police department is also short staffed and has a limited capacity to attend to traffic enforcement.  Speed cameras need to be deployed to identify those deadly speeders that our police cannot.
  • Back in Angle Parking.  Reverse angle parking provides safer roadways since drivers are able to see other vehicles and cyclists easier (and much sooner) when exiting out of their parking spots as compared to standard angle parking.

All the citizens of Albany have a right to safe mobility. The Albany Bicycle Coalition is committed to safe cycling and walking in all parts of the city through proper road design, effective signalization, reduction in motor vehicle speed (and thus in the severity of injuries when crashes do occur), strict enforcement of impaired driving rules, removal of judges who go light on traffic violators who put others at risk, revocation of operator’s license for repeat offenders, mandatory and continuous training of law enforcement on bicyclists’ rights, reduction in motor vehicle parking that hinders clear vision or puts use of street space over safety, hiring of investigators skilled in crash assessment and who are not allied with law enforcement or traffic engineering, and programs to educate cyclists in proper and safe riding skills.

Here is the list of victims we remembered (from 2017 on):

  • February 4, 2017 Rajine Martinez, 21, was struck and killed in a hit and run collision on Washington Park Road at 4am.  See Times Union Monday Feb 6th pg A7.

  • July 22, 2017 Edston J. Kirnon, 42,  Bicyclist collided with the side of a CDTA bus on N. Pearl St., Albany.

  • October 19, 2017 Roger L. Sawyer, age 30,  Bicyclist run down by SUV, Washington Ave. Ext., Albany.  See Times Union, Saturday, October 21, 2017, Page: D2.

  • February 20, 2018 Ludmilla Vink, 92, was identified Wednesday as the victim in the fatal car-pedestrian crash on Washington Avenue in Albany. See Times Union Thursday, February 22, 2018;  Page: C2

  • August 8, 2019 Unidentified Pedestrian, 67, A man was seriously injured when he was hit by a truck Thursday near the intersection of Madison Avenue and Dove Streets. The incident happened around 1 p.m. After being treated at the scene by rescuers, the 67-year-old man was taken to Albany Medical Center Hospital by ambulance. His condition was not immediately available. Times Union Friday, August 09, 2019, Page: C4

  • September 24, 2019 Unidentified Pedestrian, 50, man was hit by a car and killed Tuesday evening along Washington Avenue Extension, city police said. Police said they believe the man was walking south and trying to cross when he was struck by a car driving west. Times Union Thursday, September 26, 2019; Page: C5

  • May 21, 2020 Richard Harmon, 76, hit and killed North Allen and Manning. Times Union, Saturday, May 23, 2020, D3

  • September 24, 2020 Unidentified Pedestrian Death.  Per the NHTSA Fatality Analysis Reporting System, Pedestrian a pedestrian was killed because of a collision between 7 and 8 pm on Church Street in Albany.

  • March 2021 Unidentified Pedestrian Death. Per the New York State Traffic Safety Statistical Repository, there was a pedestrian death in Albany during this month, though we could not find a report in the local newspaper.

  • April 15, 2021 Sa’Nya Blaylock, 16, a student at Albany High School died when she was struck by a vehicle while crossing to the bus stop after her shift at Kentucky Fried Chicken on 1235 Central Avenue

  • May 2021 Unidentified Pedestrian Death. Per the New York State Traffic Safety Statistical Repository, there was a pedestrian death in Albany during this month, though we could not find a report in the local newspaper.

  • July 7, 2022 Kathleen McBride, 52, a pedestrian struck by a van. McBride sustained serious injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene on Central Avenue

*** END OF LIST ***

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Crash Victim Rights and Safety Act

Your support is essential to the success of a major new roadway safety campaign. Even if you do not ride a bicycle and do not walk except to and from your car, roadway safety still has to be a concern. Please take a few minutes to sign on to the campaign here – http://nysafestreets.org.  and select TAKE ACTION.

As motor vehicles have grown larger, with increases in distracted driving and speeding, more cyclists and pedestrians are being seriously injured and killed. While we have seen some minor improvements to pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure, our roads are still largely designed and built to carry motor vehicles and are unsafe for all other users.

Nicholas Richichi, age 53, 10/29/07

For these reasons, the Albany Bicycle Coalition has joined Walkable Albany and a statewide coalition of bicycling and other road safety advocates in our common effort to pass the NY Crash Victim Rights and Safety Act (CVRSA). The seven bills in the CVRSA will permit municipalities the option to lower their speed limits, mandate 3-foot clearance when passing cyclists, support Complete Streets initiatives that improve road safety for all users, better educate drivers to protect vulnerable road users, and provide support to those personally impacted.

As part of The New York Safe Streets Coalition’s launch of the campaign for the CVRSA, Albany Bicycle Coalition released the following short video:  https://youtu.be/2qpVRHWNd1A.

For further CVRSA information, see http://nysafestreets.org.

The complete set of bills in the CVRSA are as follows:

Speed Limit Authorizes cities, villages and towns (outside NYC) to reduce the speed limit to twenty-five miles per hour.S02021 (May)A01007 (Paulin)
Sammy’s Law Allows lower life-saving speed limits in NYCS524 (Hoylman)A4655 (Gottfried)
Complete StreetsIncreases state funding where the municipality agrees to fund a complete street design feature. S3897 (Kennedy)A8936 (Fahy)
Complete Streets MaintenanceIncludes, when possible, complete street design features in resurfacing, maintenance, and pavement recycling projects and further enable safe access to public roads for all users.S5130 (Kennedy)A7782 (Rivera)
Safe PassageRequire drivers pass bicyclists at a safe distance of min. 3 feet.S4529 (Harckham)A547 (Steck)
DMV Pre- Licensing CourseEducates NY drivers about safely interacting with vulnerable road usersS1078A (Gounardes)A5084/7032 (Gallagher)
Crash Victim Bill of RightsGuarantee rights & a voice for crash victims and their loved ones in legal proceedingsS8152 (Hoylman)Glick

Join the Push for Safer Streets for All – To do your part in pushing for safe roads, you need to contact both of your state legislators to express your support for the Crash Victims Rights and Safety Act.

Since many organizations that are not primarily involved with cycling, walking, or roadway safety should still have an interest in this initiative, you may want to sign your organization on to the campaign. You can complete this form.

Diva De Loayza, age 40, 6/6/07

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John Lynch Killed in Crash – 7/20/21

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)

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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
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Lynch Ghost Bike

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William Drake – Struck and Killed

Drake GB Sign

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.

Drake GB

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.

Drake Crash Scene A-7-4-20

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.

Drake Crash Scene B-7-4-20Gloversville’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 …

Ride of Silence – COVID-19 forced postponement of Albany Bicycle Coalition’s 13th Annual Ride of Silence to commemorate the injury and death of people on bicycles.

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Roads Remain Unsafe for People on Bicycles

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+Mayfield/@43.126514,-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)

Ryan 3 - Completed 10-28-07

Roger L. Sawyer – October 19, 2017 (age 30)

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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.

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Matthew Ratelle – December 20, 2012 (age 40)

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Edston J. Kirnon – July 22, 2017

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)

Sawyer 10-18-17

  • 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)

Cummings 1-27-16

  • 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)

bob agne saratoga rood and riddle fb 500

  • 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

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Matthew Ratelle – December 20, 2012 (age 40)Matthew Ratelle 10-26-72 -- 12-20-12 C

Paul J. Merges, Jr. – November 24, 2012 (age 45)

Paul J. Merges Jr 11-24-12

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)

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Jose Perez – August 3, 2006 (age 60)

Alan R. Fairbanks – October 29, 2006 (age 72

Fairbanks 6 (Susan + Patrick Briggs) 5-9-08

Diva De Loayza – June 6, 2007 (age 40)

Nicholas Richichi – October 19, 2007 (age 53)

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*The City of Albany removed all its ghost bikes in 2014.

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