April 1, 2017 By Christian Murray
The police have arrested a man who fatally struck and killed a cyclist while driving drunk at the corner of 43rd Avenue and 39th Street in the early hours this morning, according to city officials.
The driver, who fled the scene, hit the cyclist in his 2002 Ford Escape at 2:53 am and then left the bicyclist to die in the street. The victim, Gelasio Reyes, 32, was traveling home east bound on 43rd Avenue.
EMS arrived on the scene and Reyes, a Corona resident, was then pronounced dead at Elmhurst Hospital, according to police.
Several hours later, police officers with the 108th Precinct and the Collision Investigation Squad located the driver after spotting his vehicle on Laurel Hill Boulevard and 59th Street, according to Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer who was briefed on the incident.
The suspect, Cristian Guiracocha, 25, was still in his vehicle and was arrested. The Woodside resident has been charged with refusing to take a breathalyzer test and for being an unlicensed driver.
“This is an awful tragedy,” Van Bramer said. “We will never know whether this man could have been saved had the driver stopped and helped,” he said. “We don’t know how long he [Reyes] was there until someone finally called the police.”
Van Bramer said he was pleased with the quick work of the police in locating the suspect. However, he said, there are still far too many cases where people involved in hit-and-run crashes are not caught.