In a tree box next to a bustling bike lane on Second Avenue, candles were lit on Thursday as part of a days-long vigil for a cyclist who died in an early morning crash at the start of the week.
The cyclist, whom his sister identified as Eduardo Valencia, “lost control” of his e-bike heading south on Second Avenue near East 89th Street on Monday around 12:40 a.m. when he ran into a pole on the sidewalk, according to a preliminary police report. He was brought to Cornell Medical Center, but had suffered “severe head trauma,” the report states. His sister said Valencia, in his 20s, had been working as a delivery person for Uber. At the time of publication, DCPI said the cyclist was “still yet to be identified.”
“We have fond memories of him; I will always remember him,” Valencia’s sister said. Family members, including a woman identified as his wife, who was cradling a baby on Thursday, have been gathering at the site of the crash every day since, starting in the mornings and staying through the late evenings.
Some people stopped by to sit with Valencia’s family under the overhang of Ashoka, a shuttered Indian restaurant. Others paused in front of the tree box memorial as bikers rushed past in the abutting lane.
One man, Kevin Daloia, attended the vigil with the intent of eventually erecting a “ghost bike” memorial — a commemorative bike marking the location of the fatal crash, to be painted the colors of the Mexican flag, he said.
In January, Mayor Eric Adams announced a revamp of the city’s Vision Zero initiative to improve traffic safety, after 2021 ranked as the deadliest traffic incident year in nearly a decade.
“We have fond memories of him; I will always remember him.”