Heartbreaking Memorial Held for Delivery Worker Killed in UES Moped Crash, Fundraiser Started for Funeral Costs

Heartbreaking vigil held for Salvador 'Chavita' Navarrete Flores/Upper East Site
Heartbreaking vigil held for Salvador 'Chavita' Navarrete Flores/Upper East Site

MANHATTAN –  An estimated one hundred people turned out to pay tribute to the 31-year-old delivery man known fondly by his friends as Chavita. Salvador Navarrete Flores died Monday on his way home from work after crashing his moped into an illegally double parked FreshDirect truck on First Avenue at East 76th Street on the Upper East Side.

The wrecked moped remains on the scene of the deadly crash/Upper East Site
Chavita’s wrecked moped examined by police after deadly crash/Upper East Site

Wednesday night, loved ones lit candles at the scene of the fatal crash and paid their respects to Chavita, who street safety advocates say has become the 13th deliverista, as they’re known, to lose his life on the streets of New York City in 2021. 

Memorial for Salvador Navarrete Flores, the deliverista killed in moped crash/Upper East Site
Memorial for Salvador Navarrete Flores, the deliverista killed in moped crash/Upper East Site

Shaken and angry, the delivery workers tell Upper East Site they are literally putting their lives in jeopardy each and every time they hit the streets— sometimes to deliver just a single item ordered from the new 15-minute grocery apps that have proliferated the city over the last year. 

EARLIER COVERAGE | Delivery Man Dead After Crashing Moped into Parked Truck on the UES

Deliveristas who spoke at tonight’s memorial offered kind words for their fallen friend— and called for real action to keep these preventable tragedies from taking lives and destroying families.

Large crowd of friends, family and neighbors honor fallen deliverista Salvador 'Chavita' Navarrete Flores/Upper East Site
Large crowd of friends, family and neighbors honor fallen deliverista Salvador ‘Chavita’ Navarrete Flores/Upper East Site

Navarrete Flores, who lived in the Bronx, had been supporting his mother and 12-year-old son back in their hometown of Soledad, Mexico— sending money from his jobs prepping food at Just Salad and delivery food though DoorDash and Relay— his sister says his dream was to return home to see them. 

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Adding to the pain of losing a father and son, the family’s source of income now gone— they cant even afford the cost of a proper funeral.

“Heroes like my bother did not deserved to die the way he did,” Chavita’s sister Francisca wrote in a GoFundMe asking for help covering funeral costs and supporting his young son. 

Salvador 'Chavita' Navarrete Flores died Monday after crashing his moped into an illegally parked truck
Salvador ‘Chavita’ Navarrete Flores died Monday after crashing his moped into an illegally parked truck

“My bother was 31-years old and was a hero. He risked his own life for this city and our family.” 

A member of the delivery workers collective Los Deliveristas Unidios, Chavita was known for his activism— his sister says he joined many of the group’s rallies “to win justice and dignity for all delivery workers in New York City.” 

Large crowd of friends, family and neighbors honor fallen deliverista Salvador 'Chavita' Navarrete Flores/Upper East Site
Large crowd of friends, family and neighbors honor fallen deliverista Salvador ‘Chavita’ Navarrete Flores/Upper East Site

So far, they’ve received 82 generous donations totaling $3,300— however, that’s just a fraction of the GoFundMe’s $20,000 goal.

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Street safety advocates like the non-profit Transportation Alternatives are calling on Mayor-elect Eric Adams to take action to save lives where Mayor de Blasio has not.

Police investigate deadly moped crash on First Avenue/Upper East Site
Police investigate deadly moped crash on First Avenue/Upper East Site

“All of you are forced to make deliveries in fifteen minutes or under, and then god forbid when you are killed, you have to go raise $15 from person after person to cover the funeral costs,” said Danny Harris, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives.

“This is an injustice.”

More than just a remembrance of a good man taken too soon, Wednesday night’s gathering was a celebration of Salvador Navarrete Flores’ life— a brass band joined tonight’s vigil, playing a moving rendition of Boy’s II Men’s ‘It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday.’ 

Band plays 'It's so hard to say goodbye to yesterday' in honor of Chavita/Upper East Site
Band plays ‘It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday’ in honor of Chavita/Upper East Site

Deliveristas in the crowd called out Chavita’s name– their hearts broken for a good man who had touched so many of their lives. Even neighbors and cyclists passing by joined in the vigil to honor his life. 

A funeral for Salvador Navarrete Flores is planned for December 26th. 

“That day we’re going to give him his last goodbye,” a friend of Chavita’s told the crowd. 

Large crowd of friends, family and neighbors honor fallen deliverista Salvador 'Chavita' Navarrete Flores/Upper East Site
Large crowd of friends, family and neighbors honor fallen deliverista Salvador ‘Chavita’ Navarrete Flores/Upper East Site

“The reason we all came here is for a dream. Not to go back the way [Chavita] is going back.”

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The NYPD’s Collision Investigation Squad is investigating the accident that took Chavita’s life and was seen interviewing FreshDirect workers at the scene of Monday’s crash— though no findings have been released yet. 

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FreshDirect tells Upper East Site it is “deeply saddened about this tragic accident,” adding that “FreshDirect wishes to extend its sincerest condolences to the family. We are unable to comment further as there is an active police investigation underway, and we are fully cooperating with the local authorities.” 

To donate to Chavita’s funeral fund, click here.

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