Man on bicycle fatally struck by car on LI

September 7, 2010 2:46:59 PM PDT
Police on Long Island are on the hunt for the driver who struck and killed a man riding a bike.

The victim, Paz Espinal, was crossing Fifth Avenue, just a block from home, when the driver hit him at 8:18 Monday night.

Manuel Diaz never imagined his brother would die in such a way, crossing a busy Brentwood street. The heartless driver who hit and killed him didn't bother to stop.

His nephew, Jose Garcia, says Paz lived up to his name, which means peace. Yet, he died in such a violent way.

Garcia doesn't want to judge the driver, but he doesn't understand why that person didn't stop.

Family members say Paz Espinal worked countless hours at a factory to support his wife and 4 children in his native El Salvador.

Police say the 45-year-old was riding a bicycle when a white vehicle, maybe a Mitsubishi, struck him at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Dalton Road.

"He made it over to the southbound lanes when the vehicle struck him. He was thrown from the vehicle approximately 30 feet," Det. Sgt. Tony Lavista said.

Espinal's roommate, Christian Saravia, witnessed the crash.

He says he hasn't slept since because he can't get the image out of his mind.

Friends and relatives say something needs to be done about this road so another family doesn't have to suffer like this.

"Very dangerous. A lot of people have died there. When you try to cross you can't you have to literally run. At night, it's dark. You can't really see. It's dangerous," family friend Eliana Rustrupo said.