Bizarre excuse from truck driver accused of killing Aussie cyclist in New York

The lawyer for a truck driver accused of being drunk when he fatally struck an Australian woman cycling in New York, said his client wasn’t impaired by alcohol as he ate a chicken-salad sandwich earlier that day.

Madison Lyden, 23, was with a friend near Central Park about 4.45 pm on Friday when she swerved to avoid a car blocking a bike lane when she was hit by the truck.

The driver of the truck Felipe Chairez was later arrested on charges including driving while intoxicated.

Police said they found three empty beer cans inside his truck, but his lawyer Kenneth Ware said they would have had little impact on the 44-year-old given his lunch.

Madison was hit by a garbage truck after she swerved to avoid a car. Source: 7 News.
Ms Lyden was riding near Central Park on Friday she swerved to avoid a car blocking a bike lane and was hit by the truck. Source: Katy Renn

“If he had a chicken salad sandwich, the alcohol may have been absorbed by the lunch he had,” Mr Ware said, according to the New York Post.

Her family back in Hobart said there were no words to describe the heartbreak they felt.

“Madison was a beautiful, beautiful daughter. She was loyal and loving,” her father Andrew Lyden told The Mercury on Monday.

“She’d only spoken to me I think the previous day, or the day before, and said, ‘dad, can you believe your little girl’s in New York City’, and for her to be taken from us in such a horrific way is gut-wrenching,”

Ms Lyden had moved from Lauderdale in Tasmania to Geelong in Victoria in 2016 to study.

Twin sister’s heartbreaking tribute

Australian tourist Madison Lyden killed by truck after cycling accident in New York near Central Park

Madison’s twin sister Paige said there are no words to describe the pain her family are feeling. Source: Facebook/Paige Lyden

Paige Lyden (left) shared a moving tribute to her twin sister, Madison (right). Source: Facebook/Paige Lyden

In an emotional Facebook tribute, her twin sister Paige said she will never feel complete again after losing her other half.

“MJ. You lived your life to the fullest and you were divinely unique. Your extraordinary life was cut way too short, but I am truly blessed to have spent 23 years by your side,” the post read.

“To say that I loved you is an understatement. You were my other half, and now I can never be complete again.”

“Our family is broken. I am lost for words. Rest In Peace my sweet beautiful Twin.”

Madison’s mother Amanda Berry said her daughter was applying for masters this year and she had been travelling the world with her best friend having the “adventure of a lifetime”.