Biker Killed in East Harlem Crash, Police Say
MANHATTAN — A young man performing a stunt on a dirt bike was killed when he collided with a car and a box truck in East Harlem Tuesday afternoon, officials and witnesses said.
Shamel Jefferson, 28, was performing a wheelie up Third Avenue near East 105th Street about 12:45 p.m. when he clipped a red four-door sedan making a left turn onto 105th Street, witnesses and police said.
"He was wheeling. He was going about 20 or 30 miles," witness Jose Luis Jarra, 34, said.
Jefferson, who lived on Park Avenue near 105th Street, lost control of the unlicensed, blue motorcycle and fell under the wheels of a box truck, the NYPD said.
Jefferson was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the NYPD.
Both drivers remained at the scene and no arrests were made, police said.
Jefferson's mother and sister were distraught. They said he leaves behind three children, including an 8-year-old daughter and two sons ages 5 and 2. Jefferson loved posting pictures of his children on Facebook, say family members.
''He always wanted a motorcycle. Every time he'd hear a motorcycle as a kid, he'd run to the window and say, 'Mommy, mommy.' And now that he got one, he's gone," said Jefferson's mother Cheryline Jefferson, 55, as tears streamed down her face.
''I don't question God, but I asked God to give him a job. Instead, he took him away,'' she added.
Jefferson's sister Shakira Jefferson, 25, said her brother purchased the bike four months ago from a friend. It was in bad shape and in need of mechanical work.
Shakira Jefferson said her brother, who had aspirations to become a car mechanic, worked on the bike for two days straight.
''He loved his bike," she said. "He rode it every day. He'd say, 'If you're not riding, you're hiding.'''
Police have started cracking down on dirt bikes, which are illegal to ride on city streets, after complaints from residents of neighborhoods in Upper Manhattan, the Bronx and parts of Brooklyn, that packs of people ride the illegal vehicles recklessly through city streets, risking injury to themselves, other motorists and pedestrians.
Shakira Jefferson said she ran to the scene when she heard about the accident but it was too late.
''He died doing what he loved. At least he can say he was happy when he left," said Shakira Jefferson.
The investigation is ongoing, police said.