June 15, 2022 By Christian Murray
Police have arrested a 19-year-old man who allegedly killed an e-bike rider in Long Island City in October when he lost control of his pickup truck, crossed the roadway and plowed into the victim who was in a bike lane.
Josh Fitzpatrick, of Huntington, Long Island, was charged with reckless endangerment, failure to obey a traffic device and for speeding.
The teenager, according to police, fatally struck Thomas Panto, a 32-year-old man from North Corona, who was riding northbound on the Honeywell Street Bridge– which goes over the Sunnyside Yard—at around 7:30 a.m. on Oct. 11.
Panto was in the bike lane on the bridge going from Skillman Avenue to Northern Boulevard.
Fitzpatrick, who was traveling southbound in a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado, lost control of his pickup truck and slammed head on into Panto who was going in the opposite direction.
Emergency responders transported Panto to NYC Health and Hospitals/Elmhurst where he was pronounced dead.
Fitzpatrick 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 remains ongoing and is being conducted by NYPD Highway Patrol Collision Investigation Squad.
The Department of Transportation came under fire following Panto’s death since the bicycle lane is unprotected.
“Thomas Panto was killed on Honeywell Street in Long Island City, Queens, a street with a painted, unprotected bike lane,” said Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Danny Harris at the time. “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.”