Today’s news:

Big Apple Circus worker killed after colliding with car door on Union Tnpk.

Police tape hangs from a tree on Union Turnpike, where a circus worker was killed. Photo by Joe Anuta
Police investigate a fatal accident in Fresh Meadows, where a bicyclist was killed after he struck a car door. Photo by Ken Maldonado
TimesLedger Newspapers

A circus company is mourning the loss of a worker who died in a Fresh Meadows bicycle accident Saturday evening, according to police.

Just after 8 p.m. in front of 178-02 Union Tnpk., a 39-year-old man was riding eastbound past a row of parked cars when the driver of one of the vehicles opened the car door.

The cyclist, whose name has not been released, collided with the door and was found with severe trauma to the head and neck, according to the NYPD.

The man was an electrician for Big Apple Circus, which had set up shop in Cunningham Park May 22, according to Tom Larson, general manager of the circus. The show was set to move on the day after the man was killed.

“He was a respected and valued member of our circus community,” Larson said. “We are less strong without him.”

The man had been with the circus for eight years, according to a spokesman, and the last show in Flushing was dedicated to him.

“He was a very liked, respected and valued employee,” said Joel Dein. “It’s very much a shock to everybody.”

The man was transported to Elmhurst General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

Employees of the Sly Fox Inn across the street said the man was bleeding profusely as he lay in the street, and the man might have cut his neck from an impact with his own handlebars or the car door, although cops could not confirm.

The driver who opened the door stayed on the scene and no criminality was suspected, according to police.

Emergency workers who arrived on the scene found a substantial pool of blood next to the man’s bike, about 10 feet in front of where the car door was opened.

Nearby workers in a cell-phone store were shocked to hear of the accident, but said that the four-lane road is often a dangerous venue because of speeding cars.

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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Reader Feedback

Michael Yunan from Whitestone says:
Sly Fox Inn is a hangout for cops and auxiliary, especially from the 107th precinct. It wouldn't surprise many of us in the least if it turns out that the driver of the car was one of them and that's why he is not being charged. However, the important thing here is that an innocent life was lost. Condolences to his loved ones. RIP, young man!!
June 19, 2012, 7:35 am
Steve from Long island says:
Michael your an IDIOT. It was an accident, that's why there are no criminal charges, it has nothing to do with who opened the car door. The fact that you think there are no criminal charges because it might have been a police officer that was exiting the vehicle just shows your lack of intelligence, and I believe you said it just to get a rise out of people.
June 19, 2012, 9:21 pm
Mark N. from Fresh Meadows says:
Looks like Michael sure got a rise out of you, Steve! Who's the idiot now?? And learn how to spell......Also, people are allowed to voice an opinion. (Do YOU know the facts of the case?! If so, it's your civic duty to report what you know.) Anyway, Michael is correct!! The 107th precinct is filled to the brim with......yes, all guess it......CLOWNS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
June 20, 2012, 4:07 am
Alfredo C from Malba Gardens says:
Steve, the above commentators Michael and Mark is one guy, Alfredo C from Malba Gardens Civic. Our local nut!!
June 27, 2012, 1:57 pm
Friend from Queens says:
The young man who died did not have any family (besides the circus family). It was a great loss. He was a nice guy. Drivers should really watch what they are doing- this was senseless!
June 30, 2012, 6:15 pm

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