NORTHEAST PHILADELPHIA - A bicyclist was killed when police say he was struck by a pick-up truck while crossing Roosevelt Boulevard Tuesday night in Crescentville.
Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said officers and medics responding to the scene found a young man unresponsive and bleeding from the head, lying next to a mangled mountain bike in the median of Roosevelt Boulevard just after 7:30 p.m.
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Family members identified the young man as 17-year-old Yomar Rivera.
"We want justice for Yoma!'" the victim's aunt, Yamilka Wilmo, exclaimed. "He was somebody's son, a grandson and we want justice for him! This boulevard is too dangerous. Something needs to be done out here!"
Rivera was said to be riding his bike home after playing pickup basketball with his cousin when police say he was struck by an unidentified driver, possibly operating a white and blue Ford F150 pick-up truck, at Roosevelt Boulevard and Adams Avenue. The driver then sped away northbound on Roosevelt Boulevard.
Officers drove the young man to Temple Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Rivera's family is in tears knowing not just that someone killed their boy, but they didn't even bother to stop.
"The hardest part is that they left him there. They didn’t even stop. They couldn’t stop to make sure he was alright! Maybe they could have took him to the hospital. Maybe if they would have just stopped, you know? Our hearts are broken now, because he was somebody’s son," Wilmo cried.
Rivera’s grandmother and aunt are pleading for the driver to come forward.
"Please turn yourself in. You know, accidents happen. We understand, but we need you to turn yourself in. We need to put closure to this," Wilmo added.
The fatal accident, the seventh of its kind involving a bicyclist this year in Philadelphia, comes just the day before Mayor Jim Kenney and the Streets Department announced their "Vision Zero Task Force," with a goal to reduce fatalities on busy Philadelphia roads to zero by 2030.
The mayor said drivers are simply out of control.
"People are being irresponsible driving their cars. It’s a simple equation. It’s a terrible equation, but it’s simple. People are lead-footing around town. They’re buying muscle cars like crazy and they’re driving like idiots. That’s the bottom line," Mayor Kenney explained.
Rivera’s family, still dealing with the shock their loved one is no longer here. Yomar’s aunt pleading to anyone who will listen to fix the Boulevard before someone else dies.
"We need another plan for this boulevard. Because this is not working. There’s too many lives that have been taken already. He will be truly missed," Wilmo sobbed.
Anyone with information on the deadly hit-and-run should contact police immediately. Tips can be submitted by calling 215-686-TIPS (8477) or texting PPD TIP (773847). Tips can also be submitted anonymously online, here. All tips are confidential.