Road Cycling

The stories behind Staten Island’s six ‘ghost bike’ tributes –

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — The number of cyclists killed on the road in New York City has more than doubled in 2019.

In 2018, 10 cyclists lost their lives while riding their bikes, while in 2019 the number rose to 22 fatalities, according to AM New York. 

The Ghost Bikes organization places a white bike — also known as a “ghost bike” — at the scene of the crash to remember the riders who tragically lost their lives.

Over the years, six such bikes have been dedicated for people who died on Staten Island.

These are their stories:

Jerome Allen

Jerome Allen, 59, of New Springville, was a cycling enthusiast.

A car hit him while he was riding his bike on Hylan Boulevard and Blue Heron Park in Annadale on April 26, 2005. 

After a couple of days in the intensive care unit at Staten Island University Hospital in Ocean Breeze, Allen succumbed his injuries.

Allen was an employee of the New York State Banking Department in Manhattan, according to Advance records.

A ghost bike for him was placed on Hylan Blulevard and Lipsett Avenue, in Annadale.

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Dayshan T. Geralds

Dayshan T. Geralds was only 17 years old when a driver fatally hit him not far from his home on Jersey Street in August of 2010.

Geralds died of severe head trauma after Michael Ryner, 43, backed his van into him, knocking him off his bicycle, police said at the time.

Geralds was just about to be a senior at Curtis High School.

Ryner, who was arrested in the crash, told detectives that his car was being shot at when he hit the 17-year-old and fled the scene. 

He was sentenced to a one and a half to three years in prison in connection with the case.

Dayshan’s ghost bike is located at the intersection of Jersey Street and Hendrick Avenue in New Brighton.

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Stanley Marshall

Family members and friends described Stanley Marshall, 59, as a hardworking man.

Marshall had just gotten home from work and jumped on his bike to pick up some food on Feb. 16, 2016. But he never made it home.

Lisa Martini, 52, of Oakwood, the driver of the car that hit Marshall, was arrested.

She was charged with operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs and later sentenced to five years of probation.

Marshall suffered a broken pelvis and internal injuries and was rushed to Staten Island University Hospital in Ocean Breeze, police said.

The avid cyclist had just returned home from his job at Island Environmental Tank Corp., where he had worked for more than 30 years, his family said.

A ghost bike for Marshall was placed at the intersection of Richmond Road and Andrews Avenue, in Richmond where the crash happened.

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Alexa Cioffi

Alexa Cioffi, 21, of Eltingville, was riding her bike with a friend on Hylan Boulevard in Bay Terrace when she was hit by a boat that detached from an SUV.

Michael Khmil, the driver of the SUV, remained on the scene, and later pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide.

A police investigation determined Khmil was driving a 2015 Toyota SUV northbound on Hylan with a boat in tow during the evening rush hour around 5 p.m. on Sept. 14, 2015.

Near Redgrave Avenue, the SUV attempted to change from the right lane to the center lane while overtaking the two bicyclists in the right lane.

As the SUV switched lanes, its trailer became detached and continued to travel north into the right lane, striking and injuring the friend, said police.

The boat was propelled north, hitting Cioffi who became pinned, said police. She died in the crash.

A ghost bike was placed on Hylan Boulevard and Redgrave Avenue, right next to Great Kills Park.

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Ronald Tillman

Ronald Tillman was a nursing student at Wagner College on Grymes Hill and had just finished studying at the library the night a hit-and-run driver killed him.

Tillman was hit on a curved stretch of Howard Avenue between Highland and Grand avenues while he was biking back to his apartment in Westerleigh in 2012.

The motorist has never been caught.

“My son was left on the road to die,” said Tillman, who lives in upstate Minoa, N.Y. “There is a hole in my heart. I think about him every day.”

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Alex Cordero

Alex Cordero, 17, who moved to the United States from the Dominican Republic in 2017,  died on July 23, 2019 after a tow truck hit him just after 12 p.m. in West Brighton.

He suffered severe head trauma.

The driver, a 38-year-old male, was operating the tow truck on Clove Road when it collided with the bicyclist riding westbound on Castleton Avenue, according to police. He remained on scene and was not charged.

Cordero’s family departed for the Dominican Republic a couple of days after the crash to bury his body in the country he was born — with plane tickets purchased months ago for a family vacation.

“He was very loving with his family, very loving with everybody,” said his step-mother, Carolina Balenzuela, 31.

Cordero’s ghost bike is located at the corner of Clove Road and Castelton Avenue.

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