BICYCLIST DIES A MONTH AFTER FALL IN CENTRAL PARK

bikes central park
Bicyclists in Central Park. Photo by Dan Nguyen.

A 54-year-old woman from Texas who fell off her bicycle in Central Park near 80th Street last month has died from her injuries, according to police. Gloria Garcia of Corpus Christi, Texas, sustained head trauma in the fall, which occurred around 2 p.m. on July 17.

“EMS responded and transported the female to NY Presbyterian Hospital in critical condition where she succumbed to her injuries on August 24, 2016.  A preliminary investigation reveals that the bicyclist was travelling southbound on West Drive at West 80 Street when she lost control of the bicycle and fell to the ground.  The investigation is ongoing.”

A bicyclist sustained another severe injury on Wednesday. A man went over his handlebars while swerving to avoid a runner in the park near 102nd Street.

NEWS | 33 comments | permalink
    1. Steven says:

      Not a good day for Central Park bicycling news.

    2. B.B. says:

      Poor woman, RIP.

      However this brings up another point; why does NYPD actively enforce helmet laws?

      Do not think have ever seen one CitiBike user wearing a helmet, and plenty of other bike riders do not either.

      Am not saying this has anything to do with this poor woman’s demise; but when you hear “head injury” and “bike rider” it usually means someone was not wearing a properly fitted helmet.

      • Zulu says:

        Because there aren’t any helmet laws for adults.

        • B.B. says:

          Really? Well that explains things.

          If they only apply to children what is the rationale for excluding adults?

          • Zulu says:

            Can’t speak for the government but helmets are not as effective as they have been portrayed to be. If you google helmets and head trauma you’re bound to find an article on the NYTimes that speaks of head trauma increased in the ’90s when helmets became prevalent and more main stream. Depending on the circumstances they also increase chances of neck injuries. There are many studies on both sides of the argument posturing their virtues and pitfalls. I wear one every day as it gives me a sense of comfort or placebo effect of sorts. However, the reality is that any impact above 15mph they provide almost no protection to blunt force trauma. There is only so much foam can do.

            • grandmasterbeta says:

              I’ve had 3 bike crashes where I hit my head hard enough to crack the helmet. While I don’t think it should be a law for adults to wear them, it is a personal choice and a very very very good idea.

            • Avide cyclist says:

              I won’t ride without a properly fitted helmet. Most people who wear helmets don’t have them fitted correctly and wear them too far back on their heads or too loosely. Bike helmets are not like seat belts. They have to be worn in a certain way or they will not work as intended. Everyone who rides a bike, skateboard, rollerblades, or anything else on wheels that elevates them above their usual height and speed should go to a bike store to make sure their helmets are the right size and properly adjusted so they will work in an emergency! Please get the word out – a little bit of information could save your life!

          • Wendy says:

            The rationale for excluding adults from helmet laws is that they are grownups and can make their own decisions on whether to protect their heads with a helmet. Children do not have that perspective, which is why it’s mandatory for them. Unfortunately for this woman, she opted not to wear one. We all take our chances in life; most of the time it works out, but often it does not.

    3. Zulu says:

      Sheez, this is terrible news.

    4. Margaret says:

      How sad. So many tourists on bikes in Central Park, where the topography is hilly and they may be a little rusty at riding. Without knowing what happened here, I see cyclists on rental bikes struggling in a hard gear, sometimes wobbling, riding the wrong way around the park, or on the phone. West 80th at West Drive is coming down the hill where a lot of people are crossing. I’m so sorry for the loss.

      • B.B. says:

        Isn’t just in CP; you get plenty of “rusty” persons riding bikes on the avenues and streets as well. And yes they wobble, struggle and occasionally fall.

        Knew someone driving a rented car up CPW when an “older” but rusty bike rider fell onto the vehicle leaving a nice long and deep nasty scratch on passenger side door.

        Bike rider got up, dusted themselves off and kept on keeping without as much as an “I’m sorry”. Meanwhile he (the driver) was stuck with the repair bill.

    5. AC says:

      That particular section is in bad need of attention. Though it has a crosswalk with lights, it is not sufficient with the pedestrian traffic it receives on weekends. You have the Delacorte Theatre, pedestrians headed to The Great Lawn; peds walking to the Museum; Planetarium; and nearby subway station on CPW.

    6. LS says:

      Mayor Bloomberg implemented helmet laws for food delivery people but did not want a requirement for regular cyclists for fear it would discourage cyclists

    7. Grace says:

      Just a matter of time till someone famous has to die in CP by the wheels of the crazy kamakazi cyclists. Until then, nameless people will continue to get hurt. Police do nothing!!!!

      • Siddhartha says:

        Did you even read the article or merely blindly reply to your trigger words of “bike” and “Central Park?”

      • grandmasterbeta says:

        People sometimes get hurt when they go out into the world. You should try it sometime!

      • A random cyclist says:

        Actually someone was killed back in Oct 2014 (http://gothamist.com/2014/09/23/cyclist_who_killed_woman_in_central.php).

        A few things on this:

        1) The guy in question is a world class douche – seen him since then take unnecessary risk while riding (training) and racing (sanctioned events) in the park

        2) Yes – the Police have instituted barriers and crossing warnings and ticket…albeit it’s waves/sporadic

        3) everyone here needs to chill and remember there are a-hole cyclists, a-hole pedestrians, a-hole runners, a-hole cops….the point is…behavior is based on attitude and precaution is based on perceived risk – both of these are individual judgement calls. Stop looking to slam classes of people and recognize stupid people do stupid sh*t, so don’t be surprised when you read it in the news or come across it yourself.

        4) Data on helmets and head trauma – more people are cycling, and no one can measure the total base – so when we see head injury going up we don’t know if it is out of proportion or is just based on more people cycling more often who may have questionable skills and drivers/pedestrians may or may not be used to them being around

        FINALLY – nowhere on this blurb does it say that this poor woman was or was not wearing a helmet!

        Stop blaming the victim. Think of her family coming across this via Google.

        Yeah – perspective.

        Have a great and safe and self-sanctimonious weekend fellow Upper West Siders!

      • B.B. says:

        Does the wife of a CBS television executive count? Or is that not “famous” enough?

        http://www.westsiderag.com/2014/09/22/jill-tarlov-dies-after-bicycle-collission-should-we-believe-promises-of-enforcement

        Bottom line is everyone’s life is important with no one more worthy than any other. That is one of the founding principals of the United States.

        That being said however it probably will take a major incident involving a cyclist before something is “done”, but just what that would be cannot truly say.

        Unless NYC is willing to invest in a huge amount of manpower to have NYPD literally every one hundred or so feet the entire time CP is open, cannot see what more can be done.

        The absence of motor vehicles has allowed everyone else to expand and use the drives/loops, which is all very well. But now on many days/nights it is like the wild, wild, west out there.

        Things are especially bad at the bottom of the many hills. Persons on bikes or roller blades naturally tend to take advantage of the laws of physics. However this is very dangerous especially along parts of the West Drive where you have near constant numbers of pedestrians crossing into and out of the park.

        Personally avoid biking or roller blading in CP during daylight hours, especially on weekends or week nights. Give me late evening (after say 10PM), especially in Fall, Winter and early Spring.

        • Independent says:

          Going to Central Park after 10:00 PM?! In order to be safer?!

          Sure, when riding at that hour, the risks of collision or other traffic accidents might be considerably less, even much less, due to there being less traffic. But what about the risks of being mugged, assaulted, murdered or otherwise falling victim to thugs? Do they not become far greater after dark, let alone as late as “after 10:00 PM”?
          (And likely all-the-more-so the cooler/more inclement the weather, thus causing your addition of, “especially in Fall, Winter and early Spring” to make your comment all-the-more perplexing.)

          Surely, any benefit afforded by the former (safer riding) would be completely consumed, outweighed and overridden by the latter (risk of falling victim to thuggery).

          Or am I missing something?

    8. Susan Farkas says:

      Curious to know if the Texas lady was wearing a helmet.

    9. Ellen says:

      So sad to read of her passing; condolences to her family and loved ones. Hospital emergency room MDs insist that bike helmets _prevent_ major head trauma. IT is repeated over and over that helmets worn properly do help to avoid fatal injuries.Bike Share programs need to figure out how to have riders aware of need for helmets too. This is insisted upon in Montreal, QC.

    10. Sue rock says:

      Was this bicycle rider wearing a helmet?? I think cyclists should be required to wear helmets. Citibike should require helmets.

    11. Barbara Litt says:

      Was she wearing a helmet???? Further, Citi bikes without helmets should not be allowed! The city needs to invent a vending machine that allows a rider to get a helmet at the beginning of the ride, return it at the end, and the machine sanitizes it for the next rider. There are collapsable helmets. And this is 2016. Someone can invent that technology!

    12. B.B. says:

      According to published media reports Mrs. Garcia was cut off by a pedicab which caused her to lose control of the bike. Have not heard one peep yet about pedicabs which are known for that sort of behavior and other rule/law breaking in Central Park.

      • dannyboy says:

        Bikes, horse-drawn carriages, pedestrians, strollers, runners…

        does anyone see that this might be a spicy cocktail in a city known for its Competition?

    13. Independent says:

      On helmets:

      1.) Last I checked, the law-in-question* draws the line at fourteen years-of-age: helmets are only required up-to that point.
      (*New York City and/or New York State– perhaps someone can clarify this point.)

      Since when we do consider 14 to be an “adult“? (Certainly, the law does not consider 14 old enough to drive, consume intoxicating beverages or tobacco, vote, serve in the military, etc.)

      2.) As with safety-belt usage and any number of other personal safety measures, the argument is made with regard to helmet usage for adults that it is a personal choice that should be left to the individual. Such “libertarian” arguments simply do not withstand the scrutiny of logic, however, for they ignore the axiom that no man is an island. The consequences of the decisions of the individual in such matters as helmet and safety-belt use affect society— any number of other people, in any number of ways– extensively and profoundly. Examples include but are by no means limited-to the following:
      -the danger to others posed by an individual who has lost control of his vehicle or bicycle
      -the danger to others from a projectile body
      -the trauma to passersby (including children) who must witness gruesome, horrific imagery
      -the extensive medical and other costs that inevitably fall not just on the victims and their families but on the rest of society as well (congested emergency facilities; higher insurance and other costs, etc., etc.)