The City Island Bridge was the scene of a grisly accident and explosion at 11:39 p.m. on Sunday, May 30. The driver of a three-wheeled motorcycle was killed when he lost control, swerved, and was hit head on by an S.U.V., whose driver fled the scene.
A 1999 Isuzu truck collided with the motorcycle. Police have yet to ascertain who was driving the Isuzu. The three-wheeled motorcycle, called a ‘trike’ by some, was headed off City Island on the bridge. The Isuzu was coming onto the island.
The motorcycle’s driver was Richard Perez, 37, of White Plains, New York. He was taken to Jacobi Hospital following the collision, after being pulled from a fire caused by the accident. He was pronounced dead on Memorial Day, Monday, May 31 at 12:50 p.m.
“We have identified the person who is the owner of the Isuzu,” a police spokesman said. “We are determining if the owner of the vehicle was driving, or if someone else was the driver.” The driver fled on foot from the scene of the accident.
The fire on the bridge closed vehicular access to City Island for four and half hours, island residents said. In the meantime, there was a great deal of tumult on the island as people wanting to leave restaurants could not get home.
Sources said that teenagers from City Island began to play beer pong in the fire lane down the middle of City Island Avenue while the bridge was shut down. The City Island Bridge provides the only vehicular access on and off the island.
“A lot of City Islanders were stuck on the other side of the bridge for 4 and a half hours while trying to get home,” said Fred Ramftl, vice president of the City Island Civic Association. “There is no reason the bridge should be closed after they clear the accident.”
Ramftl added that there was chaos at a local gas station’s mini mart because of the large crowds caused by the bridge closure. He is calling for additional police presence on and around the island in the early morning hours during the summer.
“All kinds of nonsense went on with no police protection,’” Ramftl said. “There were no cops at that time.”
CICA president Bill Stanton said he was going to meet with the NYPD borough commander on Thursday, June 3 to review the accident and the response by the NYPD.
Reach reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 742-3393 or procchio@c
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