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Pickup Truck Driver Loses Control on Honeywell Bridge in LIC, Kills e-Bike Rider

The Honeywell Bridge, which provides a connection between Skillman Avenue and Northern Boulevard. Thomas Panto, 32, was killed while on an e-bike going from Skillman Avenue to Northern Boulevard. (GMaps)

Oct. 12, 2021 By Max Parrott

A man on an e-bike was killed in Long Island City Monday morning after a pickup truck driver lost control of his vehicle, crossed the street and plowed into the rider who was in a bike lane.

Police said the e-bike driver, Thomas Panto, a 32-year-old man from North Corona, was going north within the confines of the bike lane on the Honeywell Street Bridge when the 18-year-old driver of a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado lost control and slammed into Panto who was going in the opposite direction.

Emergency responders subsequently shuttled Panto to NYC Health and Hospitals/Elmhurst where he was pronounced dead.

The Silverado driver remained at the scene, where he told police that he lost control of his vehicle and careened into the bike lane across the street. The investigation is ongoing by the New York City Police Department Highway Patrol Collision Investigation Squad.

When the Honeywell Street Bridge—which goes over Sunnyside Yards from Skillman Avenue to Northern Boulevard—first had a bike lane, it was listed as a protected lane by Department of Transportation for two years, meaning that it was bordered by flex posts, as Streetsblog reported.

By 2018 the DOT downgraded it to a regular painted lane on its bike map, indicating that it took down or stopped replacing flex posts that had been damaged by cars.

By Monday night Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Danny Harris sent out a statement lamenting Panto’s death and calling on the mayor to install stronger protective bike infrastructure.

“Thomas Panto was killed on Honeywell Street in Long Island City, Queens, a street with a painted, unprotected bike lane. It is like every painted, unprotected bike lane in New York City: a parking lot or travel lane, regularly abused by drivers, so much so that even Google Street View shows a dumpster parked there. At best, painted bike lanes are useless, but at worst, they are a reckless invitation from the city of New York to its residents, inviting New Yorkers to ride a bike while failing to adequately protect them.”

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25 Comments

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Dietmar Detering

How do you “lose control” of a vehicle that is not allowed to travel at more than 25 mph and just after making a turn on (or crossing) a busy intersection? If we have to put up concrete barriers to protect someone from vehicles that should be traveling about 20 feet away, where else do we need to put up concrete barriers? Where is the responsibility for drivers “not to lose control”? My heart goes out the friends and family of Thomas Panto.

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Steve Tarbajars

This was not good, but for the Danny Harris to say this “parking lot or travel lane, regularly abused by drivers, so much so that even Google Street View shows a dumpster parked there”

After clicking and what he was referring to you do indeed see a dumpster. But, look closer, and you see the DOT, fenced off the entire bike lane for construction. What moron do we have making this observation, labeling this as abuse? There doing construction on the road, whole bike lane is kinda useless as construction is happening… so makes sense for there to be a dumpster there.

In regards to cars, I blame Apple, to many people on their phones. I wont lie, I am on my phone sometimes too. But, we have to wait and see what went down first.

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Cyrus

Automobiles of all kinds are far, far more dangerous than even the minority of cyclists who ride like a-holes.

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Kool

If only no one had invented the internal combustion engine! If only Henry Ford has never been born! If only America had remained an agricultural nation rather than become the richest nation in earth during the 20th century! If only Eisenhower and the automakers hadn’t shut down trains and busses so the nation could build an Interstate highway system and encouraged everyone to “See the USA in a Chevrolet!” Then TA wouldn’t have to go through all these gymnastics. So sad!

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Really, genius...

minority of cyclists.

Meanwhile, I understand what he’s trying to say but he’s got it assed backwards.

The bicyclists who ride like assholes (the rest of his post) are NOT the minority but the majority. It’s all about numbers. The precious few cyclists who DO pay attention and do not ride around with earbuds in are the ones who are responsible. Something happens to them, it’s tragic.

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Jim

I’m sorry Cyrus but bicyclists are irresponsible. They go thru lights, ride on sidewalks and go the wrong way in bike lanes. They basically do what they want. It is amazing that more bicyclists aren’t killed. You live by the sword then you die by the sword.

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Reggie

The driver crossed the double-yellow lies and killed a cyclist on the opposite side of the street.

I guess in NYC, you can get away with vehicular manslaughter if you’re not drunk.

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Boo-boo

Very, very sad. Accidents do happen and bicyclists will always lose because they put themselves out there with absolutely no protection. They must take more responsibility for their safety, not depend on the world to change for their safety. Life doesn’t work that way.

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Johnny Cheeks

How can a biker protect themselves from an out of control pick up truck? In my 30 years of driving, I have never lost control of a vehicle.

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Very easily...

…ride your bike in a park and not out on the street with moving cars and trucks…or you can just walk and not knock old ladies out of their shoes when you blast them with your bike while running a red light or stop sign…just sayin’

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Fox has the stupid convinced it’s ok to be stupid

Boo- You come across as a delusional pig headed blowhard. That guy on the bicycle could just as easily been another auto, truck, pedestrian or municipal employee working traffic detail. It was the truck driver who was at fault and drifted into a traffic lane he should not have been in.

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ABoondy

exactly. bad things happen, especially in a severely overpopulated city. it was an accident.

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David B. Smith

A city overpopulated with motor vehicles and drivers who all too often lose control of their vehicle and cause fatal “accidents.”

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The victim is to blame

A teenager was driving a van the wrong way down a street, and you blame the victim?

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Michelle Lanceman

The reality is that with the typical speed vehicles speed on this Honeywell bridge a barrier might not have saved the cyclist. No one is going to park their car on the bridge either to form a protected bike lane effect similar to Skillman ave.

Cars and motorbikes/scooters drag race constantly on it as there’s no traffic light on its long stretch. A cyclist or pedestrian would be better served to avoid it and instead use Queens blvd bridge or 43rd St. Sadly some of the e-bikers behave as if they are motorbikes too.

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Boo-boo

I don’t blame the rider. You all misread the comment. It was not the riders fault. I will let the police and courts do their job in assigning blame. I said in any accident between a cyclist and a vehicle the cyclist will lose. Take action to protect yourselves. Even the asphalt you depend on for a smooth ride will take the skin off your body if fall on it going 20mph. Protect yourselves.

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Who is this they you speak of???

~~”They must take more responsibility for their safety, not depend on the world to change for their safety.”~~

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Booboo

Cyclists who do nothing to protect themselves from the possibility of being hurt in an accident. Wearing a helmet is a start.

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