BY YANNIC RACK
A New Jersey man has been charged with manslaughter for hitting and killing a cyclist on the West Side Highway on Saturday evening.
Police say the 26-year-old driver, from Newark, was heading southbound on West St. in his 2011 Ford truck around 7:50 p.m. when he made a right turn onto Chambers St. and hit a woman cycling in the lane next to him.
The victim, who has not been identified, was taken to Bellevue Hospital but died from head and body trauma.
The driver was also charged with leaving the scene of an accident, failure to yield to a pedestrian and driving while impaired — the latter because he tested .062 on an alcohol test on the scene of his arrest, according to a police spokesman.
An off-duty MTA officer detained the driver at Warren St. and North End Ave. in Battery Park City around 8 p.m., according to police, where he found the driver sitting stoically in his white truck.
The MTA cop, identified as Otis Noboa in news reports, was driving by on West St. when he saw the cyclist lying on the ground.
He pulled over, radioed for backup and then searched the area until he found the driver a few blocks away, according to WABC 7.
“She was trying to get up — they were trying to help her. Somebody chased after him and they called the cops,” an eyewitness told the channel.
It wasn’t immediately clear who would represent the driver in court.
A woman from Philadelphia currently faces up to six years in prison after she pleaded guilty two weeks ago of hitting a woman with her car on Beekman St. last summer, although that accident was not fatal.
In Battery Park City, a woman was run over and seriously injured in 2011 when a corporate car turning from Rector Pl. onto South End Ave. at high speed hit her as she was crossing the intersection, according to The Broadsheet.
The paper also notes that another woman was run over and killed by a drunk driver at West and Albany Sts. in February, 2009, in an accident that also seriously injured her fiancée.
The driver in that case was later convicted of vehicular homicide, vehicular assault and operating a vehicle while intoxicated, and was released from prison in 2015 after five years and two months behind bars.