Bike Path Attack Anniversary

Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office

NYC Marks First Anniversary Of West Side Bike Path Attack

October 31, 2018 - 1:58 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880/AP) -- New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner James O'Neill on Wednesday marked the first anniversary of the truck attack on a lower Manhattan bicycle path that killed two Americans, a Belgian and five Argentine tourists.

De Blasio and O'Neill were joined by police and fire responders as a wreath of white roses was placed at the site of the attack on West and Chambers streets. A small group of family members and friends attended the ceremony along with the consuls general of Argentina and Belgium.

The names of the eight killed read by the mayor hung in the air over the West Side bike path where they were mercilessly slaughtered a year ago.

"We lost good souls that day. New Yorkers and visitors alike. And we are here today to remember them. To mourn them. To stand in solidarity with their families and their nations," de Blasio said.

Surrounded by heavy security including concrete barriers, the mayor said New Yorkers did not allow themselves to be "terrorized'' after last year's attack. 

The group also observed a minute of silence in memory of the victims.   

Math teacher Rachel Pharm said she was biking uptown when she saw the truck coming southbound.

"He was coming down the bike path and I was biking up north so there were people in front of him and he ran over those people and within a split second I just swerved a little bit to the right and was able to avoid getting hit full on," said Pharm.

She suffered a broken leg and ankle but said she is blessed and privileged to be alive.

The anniversary of the attack has led to an increase in security for the city's big Halloween parade on Wednesday night.

Sayfullo Saipov is accused of driving a rented truck into cyclists and pedestrians last Halloween. He was shot by police after crashing into a school bus.

Saipov has pleaded not guilty to terrorism and other charges.

He faces a federal trial next October that could end in the death penalty

(© 2018 WCBS 880. The Associated Press contributed to this report)