Cyclist in Critical Condition, Driver Charged After Friday Night Hit-and-Run in Midtown

01/31/2011 10:46 AM |

Not pictured: snow, drunk driver.

  • Not pictured: snow, drunk driver.

Cycling on Eighth Avenue in Midtown with snow and slush everywhere on a Friday night is just about the worst situation to be in, never mind having to worry about drunk-driving sons of Bernie Madoff victims (what? yup). Around 10:15pm Friday evening 28-year-old Ricardo Gonzalez was hit by Lexus driver Clark Gettinger on Eighth Avenue near 47th Street. Gonzalez, a food deliveryman, remains in critical condition at Bellevue Hospital.

Gettinger, son of late $13 mil-Madoff victim Robert S. Gettinger (the car was registered in his name), attempted to flee, and when his car was stuck in traffic near 50th Street he tried to escape on foot, to no avail. He had also struck a cab at a red light right before hitting Gonzalez.

Gettinger struck Gonzalez with such force that the cyclist was sent flying and then skidding twenty feet before becoming lodged under a double-parked SUV, which, the Post reports, was lifted by firefighters from the nearby firehouse at 48th Street and Eighth Avenue. The passenger side of the Lexus’ windshield was also smashed in the collision. Gonzalez, a Mexican immigrant, works for Cosmic Diner on West 52nd Street. Gettinger was held on $50,000 bond and charged with drunken driving, assault and leaving the scene of an accident.

Among other things, this should underline the need for better bike infrastructure on the stretch of Eighth Avenue between Penn Station and Columbus Circle, which currently consists of a completely superfluous and comically narrow buffer-less painted lane. (Gothamist, 2)

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