Fundraiser Started for Delivery Worker Killed in Hit and Run; ‘My Brother’s Dream Was to Build a House for His Family’

Jose Garcia Gomez. Photo via Kerri Gawryn.

By Fernanda Martinez

Days after a 29-year-old delivery man was killed in a hit-and-run at the intersection of 99th & Amsterdam, a neighbor has organized a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the repatriation of his remains.

Last Saturday, September 11, José García Gómez was pronounced dead at Mt. Sinai Hospital after being hit by a car while on his way home after a shift delivering food. The driver, who fled the scene, is still at large and NYPD has no leads on this case, according to an NYPD spokesperson.

Kerri Gawryn, a neighbor of the Upper West Side, has organized a GoFundMe campaign to help raise money for various funeral costs, including the repatriation of García Gómez’s remains. “I saw the story on the West Side Rag, and I just felt terrible,” she said. “People were walking by like nothing had happened. I felt like there had to be something to honor this person who had died right outside the building where we live,” Gawryn said. 

On Monday, Gawryn saw a group of delivery workers who had gathered at the site of the incident to pay their respects and ask pedestrians for donations, and pledged to help. She started a GoFundMe campaign that same day and has raised upwards of $4,000 so far. 

Originally from Veracruz, Mexico, García Gómez had been living in Washington Heights and working as a food delivery person for the last two years. He was the sole breadwinner for his family—a wife and three children: two daughters aged 10 and 8, and a three-year-old son—all of whom are back in Mexico.

His brother, Mateo, tells the Rag that García Gómez’s dream was to improve his family’s living conditions in Mexico. “My brother’s dream was to build a house for his family [back in Mexico]. Unfortunately, he died before he could do it,” he said.

Garcia Gomez’s family. Courtesy of Mateo.

Mateo is urging the community to donate as little as a dollar to help return his brother’s body to Mexico, either through Gawry’s GoFundMe or through a similar campaign started by a friend of the family who is leading the repatriation effort. Donations can also be made through Zelle or Quickpay in care of José Domingo Jerónimo at 646-496-7245. 

Any surplus after covering funeral and repatriation costs will go to García Gómez’s wife and children to help get them back on their feet, he said. 

The family is also inviting any members of the community who wish to attend García Gómez’s memorial to join them this Friday, September 17 at 5PM at the Rivera Funeral Home (1260 St. Nicholas Ave 10033). Covid-19 precautions will be taken, including mandatory masking.

NEWS | 14 comments | permalink
    1. Molly says:

      This is so tragic. I hope his killer is caught and spends the rest of his life in prison but even that’s too good for that person!

      • Josh P. says:

        Unfortunately, the odds of that happening look slim.
        “The NYPD managed to arrest just 13 drivers for striking pedestrians with their cars, despite recording nearly 1,800 such collisions. And the number of speeding and failure-to-yield summonses issued by cops dropped by more than 27 percent and more than 63 percent, respectively”

        • UWS Econ says:

          Given the fact that pedestrians outnumber cars in Manhattan, those statistics suggest something is really out of whack with our elected officials. Perhaps no surprise having lived under the current administration at City Hall but it is time to put pressure to improve safety in our streets. Thanks to the Rag for continuing to cover this story.

    2. Upper West Sider says:

      Do you know hw employer? Hope they’re helping as well.

    3. Annie says:

      Come on fellow Upper Westsiders. Open your hearts and your wallets. As of today Friday 17 September, the GoFundMe page is only 20% of its goal. José Garcia Gomez was working hard to provide for his family. How awful!

    4. RAL says:

      I just donated. The first article in WSR made me so sad when it was posted – at that time we did not know who it was – it made me sad then because hardly anyone had a comment to make – the article mentioned a cyclist had been killed by a hit and run driver- who cares? On the other hand another article on the same day about a woman being killed behind a reversing car brought a cacophony of anger against two and four wheeled vehicles. The hypocrisy is outstanding. Now I see that the poor delivery man leaves behind a wife and 3 children in Mexico. And the police have no leads – of course not – a delivery guy on a bicycle.

      • EricaC says:

        I dont’ think people don’t care; I think a lot of people are just a bit overwhelmed with sadness right now and can’t think of what to say.

    5. UWS Econ says:

      It is great to see hundreds of donors raising nearly $10,000 when I just checked the GoFund page and hope that we can find a way to send a message to Jose’s family of our support for them. Hats off to the Rag for following this story and to Kerri for her lead in organizing support for Jose’s family in Veracruz. This is the Upper West Side at its finest.

      • Kerri Gawryn says:

        Thank you so much. If you or others want to send notes to the family, you can write them and email them to me through the Gofundme page. I’ll send them to Jose’s brother and friend who are in touch with the family in Mexico. Just please make sure they are in Spanish or translate them before sending. Thank you again.

      • Bill says:

        Perfectly said. Thank You.

    6. Kathi says:

      I wonder whether Habitat For Humanity could be useful here. I do not know the referral process, and I know that HFH usually requires sweat equity buy in, but it might be worth a call?

    7. Erica says:

      Thank you for the follow-up article on this tragedy. And thank you, Kerri, for giving us UWSiders a way to give to Jose’s family.

    8. Jim Cash says:

      Drove in the city for first time in months last week. IMO people are driving crazier than ever.

    9. Jaclyn says:

      I am a former UWSer and was moved by this tragic story and donated what I could. So senseless and heartbreaking.