Authorities in New York City say the garbage truck driver accused of fatally striking a tourist in traffic last week was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the collision.
According to Fox News, 44-year-old Felipe Chairez was arrested after allegedly striking 23-year-old Australian native Madison Jane Lyden, who was riding a bike in the Central Park area.
The victim reportedly swerved from the bike lane in an effort to avoid an oncoming driver and instead entered the path of Chairez and the truck he was driving.
Now prosecutors are pointing to his admission that he had two beers before driving that day — and a blood-alcohol content level of between .04 and .06 — as a possible factor. Authorities reported finding empty beer containers inside of his garbage truck.
His lawyer, however, suggests the chicken salad sandwich he ate with the beers were sufficient to absorb the alcohol they contained.
Kenneth Ware made the argument in court on Saturday, one day after the fatal collision.
“If he had a chicken salad sandwich, the alcohol may have been absorbed by the lunch he had,” the attorney said.
Lyden was transported from the scene at around 5 p.m. Friday to an area hospital, where she was pronounced dead a short time later.
Her grieving father recalled his final conversation with his daughter days before her death.
She asked him if he could believe her “little girl is in New York City,” he recalled.
“And for her to be taken from us in such a horrific way is gut wrenching,” he said. “Words can’t describe how heartbreaking this is.”
Chairez is expected to face criminal charges including driving while intoxicated.
[Featured image: Madison Jane Lyden, Facebook]