Man Riding Bicycle to Work Struck and Killed in North Tonawanda

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By: Brendan McDonough

Reporter for North Tonawanda

Police say North Tonawanda resident is identified as Aaron Hoellig, 34, was crossing a busy street when he was hit by one vehicle and then run-over by another on May 22nd.

Neighbors tell us this is the second accident here in the past couple weeksweeks. Last week, two cars hit each other at the same intersection, but thankfully no one was hurt. 

Police say this is a very dangerous, 5-lane highway, and most of these accidents happen when people try to beat the lights: 

Captain Thomas Krantz said, “It’s a 5-lane highway. It’s very dangerous, when I was a little kid I wasn’t allowed to cross that highway.”

But neighbors tell us both bicyclists and pedestrians, frequently cross here. 

Kristen Travers, a North Tonawanda neighbor said, “Women walking with their strollers it’s so busy around here.”

Police say the light was red, but they believe the North Tonawanda man tried to beat traffic.

“It just appears he darted out quickly, and they did not have time to react,” Captain Krantz said. 

He was hit not by one, but two different cars. 

Larry Dohring, a business owner in this intersection said, “II saw the bicycle, and my heart sunk because I’m thinking, ”what went on.”

Neighbors jumped in to try and save his life. “They were holding his top half, it looked like he was suffering,” said Travers.

He was taken to Degraff Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead. 

Some who work in the area call the street signs “confusing,” but they say this kind of accident, where people try to cross during a red light, happens often. 

“I wouldn’t blame the speeds, it has nothing to do with it. All these problems happen because people aren’t paying attention,” said Dohring.

Both drivers involved are cooperating with the North Tonawanda Police Department investigation.

We’re told they also pulled over to try and save him. No charges have been filed at this time. 

A benefit concert is planned for June 30th at Stamps Bar. Proceeds with benefit, Music Art and Go Bike Buffalo.

 

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