An Australian tourist has been killed while cycling with a friend in New York.
The 23-year-old Tasmanian woman, who has been identified as Madison Jane Lyden, was cycling near Central Park with a friend on Friday afternoon when a car suddenly pulled out in front of her.
Lyden was forced to swerve into traffic and was hit by a garbage truck.
The truck driver, Felipe D Chairez has since been charged with driving while intoxicated.
Fairfax reports that witnesses described a devastating scene where Madison’s friend ran to her aid and tried to comfort her after the crash.
“She was shouting, ‘Baby, baby, baby, wake up,’” One witness said.
Lyden was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, but there is no legal requirement to do so in New York.
Another witness told Fairfax that the accident occurred in the middle of rush hour.
“The truck went on top of her,” he said.
“I saw people screaming. They were saying, ‘Please wake up, people, please, call 911,”’
Lyden’s father told the ABC she was travelling the world with her best friend after completing her fourth year of university.
“Madison was a beautiful girl, a beautiful daughter. She was loyal and loving,” Lyden said.
“Our girl was on the trip of a lifetime and I think she’d only spoken to me on the previous day or the day before and said ‘Dad, can you believe your little girl’s in New York City?’.
“For her to be taken from us in such a horrific way is gut-wrenching, words can’t describe how heartbreaking this is.”
Ney York City Mayor told NBC he was disgusted in what had happened.
“Here’s someone doing everything possible, [she was] clearly driving in the bike lane. We know in some of these cases we’ve lost innocent people because drivers didn’t care,” he said.
“A 23-year-old in the bike lane? Of course there has to be a full investigation, but this is an example from my point of view of the danger of reckless driving.
“… The one thing that’s always true is, drivers need to slow down and put the safety of others first.”