BROOKLYN — A recently engaged cyclist biking home from his shift at Paulie Gee's pizzeria was fatally struck by a garbage truck driver that then left the scene in Greenpoint on Saturday, police said.
Neftaly Ramirez, 27, was riding on Franklin Street about 12:30 a.m. when the garbage truck driver, heading south on Franklin, turned right on Noble, fatally struck Ramirez, and kept driving, NYPD officials said.
Ramirez, who lived in the East Village, was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
The truck was green and had white and yellow writing on it, police said. Investigators were still trying to find the driver Monday morning, police said.
Ramirez worked for the Greenpoint outpost of Paulie Gee's, according to the restaurant's owner.
"Last night our beloved staff member Neftaly Ramirez tragically lost his life as he was struck down on Franklin Street by a hit and run garbage truck driver while bicycling home after his shift," owner Paul Giannone wrote in an Instagram post.
"We are all heartbroken and will miss him very much," Giannone added.
Last night our beloved staff member Neftaly Ramirez tragically lost his life as he was struck down on Franklin Street by a hit and run garbage truck driver while bicycling home after his shift. We are all heartbroken and will miss him very much. Please be careful out there on the roads. They are a very dangerous place these days. RIP Neffy.
The owner added that Ramirez, who was known as "Neffy," was recently promoted after working at the restaurant for about a year and had gotten engaged.
"He washed dishes for a while and he was engaged to be married and he was very excited about that, and he wanted the opportunity to make more money," Giannone told Gothamist Monday. "And I just recently had the opportunity to promote him to a bar back, and he was very excited about that. And the staff was very supportive about him, and helped him."
The owner said he flew back from Miami to his home on Franklin Avenue after hearing the news.
Giannone said he wasn't surprised to learn that a garbage truck is believed to have struck Ramirez.
"These garbage trucks are the worst offenders," he said to Gothamist. "They barrel around corners... All I know is that Neffy deserves to be alive."
His sister also said Ramirez was a kind and loving person.
"Neftaly was such a beautiful soul," Chrismaldi Ramirez told DNAinfo. "He was loved by so many and he was a good kid."
Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477).