The garbage truck driver who struck and killed an Australian tourist had drank two beers before the deadly collision.
Police revealed that Felipe Chairez, 44, appeared to be drunk when they arrived at the scene where 23-year-old Madison Jane Lyden had been hit while riding a bike near New York’s Central Park Friday.
Authorities also found two empty beer cans in the cab of Chairez’s garbage truck.
He now faces charges of drunk driving, driving while impaired and operating a commercial vehicle while intoxicated.
Garbage truck driver, Felipe Chairez, 44, (right) appeared to be drunk when police arrived at the scene. He is pictured being questioned by police
Madison Jane Lyden, 23 (pictured), was killed in New York after being hit by a the garbage truck after trying to avoid a car
The Australian tourist suffered ‘severe head trauma’ and was pronounced dead at hospital
Chairez’s garbage truck struck Lyden when she swerved to avoid a car parked in the bike lane. She suffered severe head trauma.
He had no previous arrests and no history of problems while working as a truck driver for 17 years, his defense attorney Kenneth Ware said.
Ware claimed Chairez could be cleared by the chicken salad sandwich that he had for lunch along with the beers.
‘If what they say is true, that he had a chicken salad sandwich — then if he had alcohol, the alcohol may have been able to be absorbed by his lunch he had,’ Ware said. ‘If that’s true … all he is charged with right now is a misdemeanor.’
Images from Lyden’s social media show her and her friends enjoying a number of tourist attractions during their trip around the US.
They include a ride in a double-decker open-top bus in New York and posing in front of a large fountain, likely in Central Park.
The girls looked to be making the most of the once-in-a-lifetime trip, smiling widely in every photo as they travelled around one of the world’s most famous cities.
A witness told New York Daily News that the Lyden did not appear to be wearing a helmet when she was struck by the truck.
An NYPD spokesman said a Toyota pulled out in front of Lyden, news.com.au reported.
‘An investigation revealed that the female was riding a bicycle northbound on Central Park West, in the bicycle lane, when a black Toyota livery vehicle pulled out into the bike lane from a stopped position,’ the spokesman said in a statement.
Lyden (centre) was on a trip in the United States with friends when she was killed while riding a bike near New York City’s Central Park on Friday (US time)
An NYPD spokesman said a Toyota pulled out in front of Lyden (right) forcing her to swerve into the path of a garbage truck
Lyden (left foreground) was rushed to the Roosevelt Hospital nearby but after attempts to revive her failed she was pronounced dead
‘The bicyclist swerved and was struck by a private carting truck, which was also travelling northbound on Central Park West.’
The driver of the car and the truck both remained at the scene to give NYPD officers their statements while the NYPD’s Collision Investigation Squad investigated.
Lyden was rushed to the Roosevelt Hospital nearby but after attempts to revive her failed she was pronounced dead.
CBS News spoke to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio who said a full investigation would be launched into the fatal incident.
‘It’s just disgusting what happened here, a 23-year-old, in the bike lane, and of course there has to be a full investigation,’ he said.
An Australian woman has been struck and killed by a truck while cycling in America
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio who said a full investigation would be launched into the fatal incident
‘This is another example, from my point of view, of the danger of reckless driving. We’re going to make sure there’s a full investigation and we’re going to make sure that there are real consequences if anything happened here that was illegal.’
NBC New York reported the woman was travelling northbound inside the designated bike lane when a car pulled out in front of her causing her to swerve.
While trying to avoid the car Lyden swerved into traffic and was hit by the truck which travelling in the same direction.
The 23-year-old woman, named by NBC New York as Madison Jane Lyden, was riding a bicycle past Central Park in New York’s City’s Upper West Side at about 5pm on Friday when she was struck and killed
The driver of the car and the truck both remained at the scene to give NYPD officers their statements while the NYPD’s Collision Investigation Squad investigated