Cyclist Dies After Being Struck on Route 9W

When Janet Martinez left home yesterday, she didn’t know that she would never return.

Little did Martinez  know a woman almost half her age, who might have been texting while driving, would deprive her of her life in less than half an hour–all because she wanted to go out and enjoy a ride on her bicycle.

Ms. Martinez, 53,  of Pomona, NY was struck yesterday on Route 9W in Upper Grandview  and died about 20 minutes after arriving at Nyack Hospital.

It is the fear that almost every cyclist has had at least once when they walk out the door, checking their pockets for money, check, water bottles, check, keys, check, helmet, check.

Yes, Ms. Martinez did have her helmet on, but it wasn’t enough to protect her skull from the motoring torpedo that struck her from behind sending her into the air then onto the ground with a thud.

Martinez’s body created a broken indention in the windshield of the 2008 Scion –an almost perfect circle of broken glass, the last impression that her body will have on the universe.

Damage on red Scion that killed Janet Martinez, 53 of Haverstraw, NY (c) Benepe

New information has revealed by officials involved in the investigation who spoke off the record that the driver who struck Ms. Martinez, Denis Patawaran, 25,  of Sparkill, NY was driving 60 mph in the 40 mph zone.

It is not clear if those details were taken from the driver’s  car computer which was seized after the crash, or from the observations of a witness.

That information has not been confirmed by police in charge of the investigation which is still pending.

The driver has not been charged, and was taken to Nyack Hospital for psychological tests.

Police would not respond to inquiries about Patawaran until the investigation is complete, and therefore would not answer if  Ms. Patarawan had been tested for drugs or alcohol at the scene.

Also according to word of mouth in the area, police will be reconstructing the crash at the scene today, at approximately 1104 Route 9W.

Anyone with more information is being asked to contact Lt. Wetzel who is heading the investigation at 845-359-3700.

Residents confirmed that they had asked for the speed limit in the area to be reduced last year, and met with officials for the Department of Transportation, and Orangetown Police. But their request was denied, and they were told by police that a reduction in the speed limit would not change driver behavior.

“This is a residential area, and isn’t the speed limit in a residential area supposed to be 30 mph?” asked Alma Richmond whose house is about 100 feet away from the crash scene, and borders the busy section of Route 9W.

“We want trucks off the road too,” said Richmond.

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  • PJ

    I think it is inappropriate to say the woman driver may have been texting while driving. You are supposed to report the facts not interject your guesses. If you have an agenda with this issue I find it very inappropriate that you would use the death of this woman to promote your political view.

  • JerZFox

    I feel for Janet Martinez and her family and I know all too well about that feeling every cyclist has. I’ve been living and riding in northern NJ for many years and have never ridden 9W — and never intend to.

    Several years I lost my daughter in a bicycling accident on JFK Blvd. in North Bergen. She was 29 and wearing a helmet, which does absolutely nothing to protect against massive internal injuries. I love bicycling but lately I feel like giving it up. Just too dangerous around here.

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