The family of a 23-year-old swimming teacher from Australia who was tragically killed by a garbage truck in New York City has given their first interview following the shock death of their beloved daughter.
At around 5pm on Friday, Madison Jane Lyden was riding a bike near Central Park when she was hit by a garbage truck. The tourist, from Geelong, Victoria, had been riding in a designated cycling lane when an Uber pulled out in front of her and forced her into the path of the oncoming garbage truck.
Her devastated parents and twin sister have now spoken to 7 News about the shock of losing Lyden, who was in the Big Apple on a trip of a lifetime.
“She just completed four years of university,” her mother Amanda Berry tearfully revealed. “She was applying for Masters this year and she’s just been travelling the world with her best friend, having the adventure of a lifetime.”
Her father, Andrew Lyden, explained that he’d spoken to his daughter just days before her life was tragically taken.
“She’d only spoken to me I think the previous day or the day before,” he said. “And said, ‘Dad! Can you believe your little girl is in New York City?’ For her to be taken from us in such a horrific way is gut-wrenching. Words can’t describe how heartbreaking this is.”
Her twin sister Paige Lyden was still trying to process what had actually happened.
“I don’t really know where to begin on what Madison meant to me and our family,” she said.
Following the accident, Lyden was rushed from the scene in New York City’s Upper West Side to Mount Sinai West Hospital, but she sadly couldn’t be saved. New York Mayor Bill De Blasio spoke to TV news crews about the horrific event that occurred.
“Here’s someone doing everything they’re supposed to do,” he said. “We know in some of these cases we’ve lost innocent people because drivers didn’t take care.”
Following the incident, the New York Police Department carried out drug and alcohol testing on the driver of the bin lorry. Felipe Chairez, 44, was then arrested and has since been charged with driving while intoxicated.
Meanwhile, friends and family have taken to Facebook to pay their respects to Lyden and her family.
One post read: “Rest in peace Maddy. You brought so much love, light and laughter to my life, and I’ll cherish that for a very long time. You were a bubbly and bright soul, and a wonderful friend. Thank you for everything we shared.”
Another said: “Our thoughts are with Andrew, Amanda and the family and friends of Madison Lyden. The tragic loss of such a bright, spirited young woman. We are thinking of you all, and send our deepest sympathies.”
A third added: “Mads, I can’t find any words. Your tragic loss is heartbreaking. I am truly blessed to have known you and shared the good times we have. Your humble, independent and loving personality will always be one of a kind. Until I see you again beautiful girl. Rest peacefully.”