ASTORIA, Queens (WABC) — A deliveryman on an e-bike was killed and others were injured after a car crashed into an outdoor dining area in Queens Thursday night.
It happened just before 8 p.m. in front of the Rosatoro Restaurant on 35th Street and Ditmars Boulevard.
Police say 37-year-old Xing Long Lin, of Queens, was on his scooter waiting for a order when the 60-year-old driver of a Mercedes SUV lost control trying to pass two cars in the bike lane and plowed through the structure and into a tree.
On Friday, Macy Carver and Olivia Del Rio placed flowers amid the wreckage for a deliveryman they didn’t know, who was struck and dragged as the car hurtled toward the restaurant.
“I don’t know him, but my window is literally just right up there,” Carver said. “Going to sleep last night, which is weird knowing it happened right outside the window. It’s terrible that we just never know.”
The impact left the outdoor dining enclosure in ruins, demolished in a shower of lumber, steel and auto parts. People in the street and inside the restaurant ran to help.
Lin was found unconscious and unresponsive and was pronounced dead at the hospital.
A 32-year-old female was also found in the roadway with injuries to both legs, suffered when she was struck with debris, and she is listed in stable condition.
Despite the tragic nature of the event, officials say it could have been much worse had the outdoor dining area been packed.
The manager of the eatery said it was too cold for outdoor dining, so the area was closed.
“It was just not a great day,” general manager Kevin Sales said. “And then, out of nowhere, this happened. I’m very glad we weren’t seating anybody outside.”
The woman driving the SUV was hospitalized in serious but stable condition.
Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted about incident Friday morning, saying, “There is ZERO tolerance for reckless driving. I feel incredible pain for Xing Lin’s family.”
There is ZERO tolerance for reckless driving. I feel incredible pain for Xing Lin’s family.
New York City will continue to deepen our commitment to Vision Zero. Outdoor dining is safe and we’ll continue to protect pedestrians and outdoor diners alike. https://t.co/Z0RWc7ftM4
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) April 30, 2021
No arrests have been made, and the investigation is active and ongoing. Police believe speed may have played a role.
The mayor went on to say outdoor dining is safe and that the city will continue to “deepen our commitment to Vision Zero” and “protect pedestrians and outdoor diners alike,” but still, this was only the latest in series of spectacular crashes involving out of control vehicles and outdoor dining enclosures in New York City.
While the city has strict guidelines for construction and ventilation to protect diners from COVID-19, there are no meaningful standards for protecting them from collisions.
Astoria resident Sheila Jones has fears about dining in the city streets.
“I won’t eat on the street,” she said. “I won’t, because I get nervous with cars hitting it…I don’t eat outside. I’ll eat on the curb, but not on the street.”
Copyright © 2021 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.