Vigil Held at Troubled UES Intersection for Men Killed by Box Truck on Christmas Eve

Vigil for Taurino Rosendo Morales, 37, and Delfino Eduardo Maceda, 46, killed after being run down by a box truck on Christmas Eve/Adrian Childress, @weunfucktheworld
Vigil for Taurino Rosendo Morales, 37, and Delfino Eduardo Maceda, 46, killed after being run down by a box truck on Christmas Eve/Adrian Childress, @weunfucktheworld

MANHATTAN – Dozens of friends, loved ones and even strangers turned out Sunday night for heartfelt memorial at the corner of East 61st Street and Third Avenue, the Upper East Side intersection where two men were tragically killed on Christmas Eve when they were run down by out-of-control box truck. 

NYPD officers investigate after cyclists were struck by a truck/Upper East Site
NYPD officers investigate after cyclists were struck by a truck/Upper East Site

Close to one hundred mourners gathered around a makeshift memorial to remember Taurino Rosendo Morales, 37, and Delfino Eduardo Maceda, 46– and to call on the City to do more to protect cyclists. 

EARLIER COVERAGE | Cyclist, Pedestrian Struck & Killed by Box Truck on the UES

A handwritten sign written in all caps fixed to the memorial of flowers and photos of the men read ’WE DEMAND JUSTICE FOR OUR FALLEN COMRADES.’ 

Both men were killed just before 9:30 am Friday morning, when police say the 66-year-old driver of the Baldor Foods box truck suddenly drove forward on 61st Street, jumped the curb and struck a fire hydrant before hitting the two men— Rosendo Morales, a delivery worker on his bicycle in the street and Maceda, a construction worker standing on the sidewalk. 

Delfino Eduardo Maceda, 46, was struck and killed by a box truck on Christmas Eve/Family photo via GoFundMe
Delfino Eduardo Maceda, 46, was struck and killed by a box truck on Christmas Eve/Family photo via GoFundMe

The two men, who police say both suffered severe trauma from being struck by the box truck, were rushed to Weill Cornell Medical Center where they were pronounced dead.

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Incoming Department of Transportation Commissioner and current Council Member Ydnais Rodriguez paid his respects at Sunday’s vigil, offering his sympathy and support for the men’s families and all New Yorkers affected by traffic violence. 

NYPD officers investigate after cyclists were struck by a truck/Upper East Site
NYPD officers investigate after cyclists were struck by a truck/Upper East Site

“Since 2011, this intersection has been the site of 22 crashes according to City data,” incoming DOT Commissioner Rodriguez wrote on Twitter. 

“23 total people have been injured here… 14 were pedestrians, 6 were cyclists and 3 were drivers. A disaster waiting to happen.”

A GoFundMe started for Taurino Rosendo Morales’ family aims to raise enough money to bring 37-year-old’s remains back to his native Mexico— where his family still lives.

Taurino Rosendo Morales, 37, was struck and killed by a box truck on Christmas Eve/Family photo via GoFundMe
Taurino Rosendo Morales, 37, was struck and killed by a box truck on Christmas Eve/Family photo via GoFundMe

“Sadly, he left 2 children and his beloved wife in Mexico,” Taurino’s brother Pedro writes in the fundraiser, “they ask for your support so that he can soon arrive at their home.”

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So far more than $11,000 has been raised through close to two hundred individual donations ranging from $5 to $1000. 

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

A funeral was also held Sunday for Salvador Navarette-Flores. The 31 year old delivery worker, known to loved ones as Chavita, was killed on the Upper East Side less than two weeks ago when his moped crashed into an illegally double parked FreshDirect truck at the corner of First Avenue and East 76th Street  on December 13th. 

So far this year, at least fourteen deliveristas— as they’re known— have been killed on the streets of New York City, according to Transportation Alternatives, a street safety advocacy group. 

Police investigate deadly moped crash on First Avenue/Upper East Site
Salvador Navarette-Flores died after crashing his moped into a double-parked truck/Upper East Site

“My priority on day one as DOT Commissioner will be to increase pedestrian and cyclist safety by increasing the number of protected bike lanes,” Council Member Rodriguez promised on Saturday.

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NYPD officers investigate after cyclists were struck by a truck/Upper East Site

Cyclist, Pedestrian Struck & Killed by Box Truck on the UES

Overgrown lot at East 78th Street and First Avenue after being cleared/Upper East Site

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