16-year-old killed by hit-and-run driver while riding Citi Bike in Astoria

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Wednesday, April 12, 2023
Community mourns teen cyclist killed by hit-and-run driver in Queens
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A 16-year-old boy, Jaydan McLaurin, was struck and killed in a hit-and-run in Astoria, Queens while riding a Citi Bike on Monday night. Josh Einiger has more.

ASTORIA, Queens (WABC) -- A 16-year-old boy was riding a bike when he was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver in Astoria.

Police say he was riding a Citi Bike e-bike near 21st Avenue and 21st Street at around 9:30 p.m. Monday.

As Jaydan McLaurin approached the intersection of 21st Avenue, he was struck by a 2022 BMW X7 that was travelling southbound on 21 Street.

Authorities say the car was going 45-50 mph in a 25 mph zone. The driver of the BMW initially stopped after hitting the teen, but got nervous and left the scene.

McLaurin was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The BMW was found unoccupied a short time later at 23rd Street and 22nd Drive. Police later announced the driver, 18-year-old Yaser Ibrahim, was found and arrested.

He was arraigned Tuesday night and faces charges of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death, windshield tint violation and no license. Ibrahim was placed on supervised release and will return to court in June.

When McLaurin wasn't at school, he was at the Variety Boys and Girls Club playing basketball. His coach Charles Melone said McLaurin was special.

"Full of life, got along with everyone in the neighborhood, everybody at the club," Melone said. "He just loved to play basketball."

He had just celebrated his 16th birthday and had just made the team. And even in a short time, he had already made an impact on his teammates and coaches.

"It was a week ago that we just had our first tournament of the year, and we actually won the championship and Jaydan was one of the star players and he was given an award this past Wednesday for being one of the hardest workers on the team," Melone said. "We were looking forward to having him represent CM3 and the Variety Boys and Girls Club but we are honored that we got him for the short time that we did."

The loss was also felt throughout his neighborhood as candles circled the basketball goal in his apartment building and his neighbors were left in disbelief.

During a vigil at the Ravenswood Houses Tuesday night, children wept, some barely into their teens, now wracked with a grief most had never known.

"For him to just hang out and don't come home, it's really, really sad," family friend Chantee White said.

"Jayden was love. Jayden is love," the victim's grandmother Elizabeth McLaurin said. "He said 'yeah grandma, I'm going to graduate.'"

But now he won't have the chance.

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