SUNSET PARK — A Brooklyn man died Saturday evening after colliding with an ambulance on his motorcylce just blocks away from his home.
Jesus Santiago, 46, was riding his motorcycle in the vincinty of Fourth Avenue and 63rd Street, when he was struck by an ambulance around 6:21 p.m., police said.
Officers found him unconscious and unresponsive at the scene, and Santiago was transported to Maimonides Medical Center. He was prounounced dead upon arrival.
Witnesses said that Santiago was headed home and had the green light as he headed westbound on 63rd Street, where he lived just a block and a half from the accident site.
The ambulance, which was traveling northbound on Fourth Avenue, chirped its sirens as it approached the intersection, but it appeared Santiago didn't hear it, said Damaris Baez, 38, a witness and neighbor. At the last second, she said, he tried to swerve out of the way, but the ambulance threw him from the bike.
"After it happened I didn't even move," said Baez on Sunday. "I was in shock. I couldn't sleep last night. I was hearing the sirens, the motorcylce, the 'bang.' I had all the images in my head," she said.
A friend of Santiago's said he had three children, one grown up and 26, and a young daughter and son.
George Fernandez, 52, a neighbor who lives on the block, said he'd see Santiago walk his son home from school every day. "He was a man's man. He did his job with his family, he did his job going to work every day," said Fernandez.
He said Fourth Avenue was "turning into a drag strip," and that Santiago wasn't an avid motorcyclist, that he just used it occassionally. "He only rode his bike to get some air," said Fernandez.
An FDNY spokesman said that the ambulance involved in the accident — which was from Maimonides Medical Center — was responding to a call.
"The ambulance was going to a call, to assist another ambulance that had a combative patient," said the FDNY. When asked if the ambulance involved in the accident had lights and sirens on, he said, "I would assume so."
Police said an investigation is ongoing, but that no criminality was suspected.