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Updated: Guadalajara Employee Killed While Riding Bike on Route 9

Police investigate the details today of the tragic accident last night: a Tarrytown driver struck a Sleepy Hollow man on a bicycle.

Luis Zhizhpon, 28, a resident of Sleepy Hollow, was declared dead shortly after being struck by a car on Route 9 Monday night, Sleepy Hollow Police Lieutenant Frank Hrotko said.

On June 25, 11:11 p.m., a car coming southbound down Route 9 in the right lane struck Zhizhpon, going southbound on his bicycle, at the intersection of Millard Avenue in the Philipse Manor neighborhood. There is no sidewalk there, or break-down lane, though there are street lights, Hrotko said.

Officer Jose Cotarelo along with Sleepy Hollow Volunteer Ambulance Corps Captain Shelly Glover attempted to do CPR on the victim, and officer Jim Warren administered oxygen. 

Zhizhpon was transported by ambulance to Westchester Medical Center where he was declared dead “a short time later,” Hrotko said. His family has been notified.  

Sleepy Hollow Police reached out to Ossining Police to help investigate as they have an accident investigation team.

"Police are still putting together what happened," Hrotko said, though he could confirm that the cyclist was wearing a helmet.

The driver, identified as Carlos Loja, 59, of Tarrytown, has not been charged pending the outcome of the investigation. He was driving a Nissan Pathfinder. At the scene, Loja was given several sobriety field tests which he passed with no sign of alcohol.

Route 9 was shut down overnight between Bellwood and Pierson avenues from 11:15 p.m. until 3:45 a.m.

According to LoHud.com, Zhizhpon was riding down Route 9 after his shift at in Briarcliff Manor.

Hector, a fellow worker at the Mexican restaurant along Route 9 who didn't want to disclose his full name or much more in order to be sensitive to the situation and Luis Zhizhpon's family, said, "We all feel bad. He was a really good person, a really good cook.”

Zhizhpon, said Hector, had been with the restaurant about two years, and “sometimes, not all the time” rode his bike home down Route 9 to Sleepy Hollow.

"He liked to bike," he said.

Try to walk, or ride by the cemetery at night—or even by day, for that matter—and it really seems you are taking your life in your own hands.

Local avid cyclist, Steve Moon, agreed. “I wouldn't ride at night, not where there's cars,” said the owner of  on Main. “There are trails for that. If I do ride at night, it's a designated ride where everyone's fitted out with lights and everything and certainly not where there's traffic.”

Moon even detours Route 9 by day, he said. “I try to avoid those roads because they are so congested.” He advised taking the back roads that run parallel, cutting off Route 9 and riding through Sleepy Hollow's Manors, for instance.  

As in a similar fatal bike incident that took place recently in Rockland County, wearing a helmet was not enough. Hector said Zhizhpon's coworkers often urged him not to ride home after dark.

“We tried to tell him not to do that...it's very dangerous. He covers his head but you always think something is not going to happen to you.”

Hector added that the restaurant workers are busy just trying to support Zhizhpon's family. The restaurant manager was out at the moment buying flowers for a funeral still being planned for either Wednesday or the weekend.

A cyclist was struck and killed recently near the Rockland County riverfront. On June 9 around 2 p.m., a 53-year-old woman riding the winding road of 9W through Upper Grandview was hit by a Sparkill driver. The driver was not charged. Janet Martinez, a mother of two and grandmother of one, was declared dead soon after being transported to Nyack Hospital. She was also wearing her helmet.

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