Some tragic news came out of New York City on Thursday afternoon, just over two weeks before thousands of skaters plan on descending upon the city to skate in the Broadway Bomb. 18-year old skater Alexander Ciszewski was killed after being run over by a truck while skateboarding home from school Thursday afternoon in Queens, after losing control of his board while skitching.
Police say Ciszewski was holding the passenger side of a white 2005 GMC box truck (e.g. a U-Haul or Ryder type truck), skitching a ride, on 47th Avenue near 32nd Place in Sunnyside when he lost control and fell backwards, being run over by the truck’s back wheels.
One witness, Jadon Thompson, told the New York Post that “I know [the truck driver] probably saw the guy. He sped up about five miles per hour either to get the kid to let go, or to give him a faster ride.”
Thompson was the first to respond to the scene and called 911, where he found Ciszewski face down and gasping for air intermittently. Ciszewski was rushed to nearby Elmhurst Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to DNAinfo NYC.
The driver didn’t stop immediately, leaving the scene of the crash, although Gothamist reports that the driver came back to the scene about 20 minutes later. Police say it remains unclear if the driver knew the teen had fallen and been run over, and are investigating whether or not a crime was committed.
The news is tragic, but also serves as a poignant reminder that skitching, especially on the sides of vehicles, is incredibly dangerous. When the driver isn’t fully aware that you’re there, and/or isn’t in communication with you, the risk is exponentially higher.
Accidents happen when you least expect them, so skate safe and skate smart everyone.
Photo via Bestrucks.com