Boat Trailer Unhitches In Staten Island Killing Cyclist
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Boat Trailer Unhitches In Staten Island, Killing Cyclist

bicycle path signLast week, a runaway boat on the road killed a bicyclist and seriously injured her friend. The boat mysteriously unhitched from a pickup truck on Staten Island as the driver wa attempting to pass the bicycles.

The driver of the Toyota Tundra, 42-year-old Michael Khmil, remained at the scene and there was no word on whether he would face any charges.

Two bicyclists struck during rush hour

Alexa Cioffi, a 21-year-old Target customer service representative from Eltingville, was headed to the beach to meet her older sister and some friends when the boat detached from the Tundra in rush hour traffic. Cioffi was pinned beneath the boat and pronounced dead after surgery at Staten Island University North Hospital. The other cyclist was Cioffi’s 22-year-old friend Brianna Emanuele. Emanuele was taken to the hospital in critical condition. She was unresponsive immediately after the accident but was able to speak by the following day.

There has been an outpouring of support for her family on the social media sites where Ciofffi had recently celebrated her one-year anniversary with boyfriend Michael Aspromonte. The family planned a funeral for one week after the accident.

Traffic accident liability

When everything goes right, boat trailers do not spontaneously unhitch from trucks.

Some of the things that may lead to this unusual type of crash include:

  • Driver negligence, including distraction, speeding, or fatigue
  • Negligence of other drivers on the roadway
  • Extreme or unexpected weather
  • Defective or poorly maintained vehicle or equipment

The law recognizes a victim’s right to receive compensation when they are injured by another’s negligence. If someone such a motorist on the road or the manufacturer of an unsafe automotive product negligently causes a crash, the victim must be able to prove certain elements in order to establish a case of negligence.

These elements include:

  • Breach of a duty – The victim must show that the party at fault either acted unsafely toward others on the road or failed to fulfill some other duty.
  • Damages – It must be proven that the victim suffered the type of injuries that are recognized by the law.
  • Proximate cause – The victim must be able to show that the breach of duty directly and logically caused the damages.

Proving each element is absolutely necessary to bring a claim but doing so can be difficult. Legal representation, as well as the help of expert testimony that is understandable to jurors, can ensure a more favorable outcome for personal injury or wrongful death claims.

A New York personal injury lawyer can help

The Sanders Firm has guided victims and their families through countless accidents over the past half century. If your loved one has been involved in an accident on the roadway, our dedicated New York personal injury attorneys are ready to review your case. There may be several legal options for you to explore in order to hold responsible parties accountable.

To schedule a no-cost initial consultation, contact us at 1-800-FAIR-PLAY.


  1. New York Post, ‘I will always love you’: Boyfriend mourns cyclist killed by boat, http://nypost.com/2015/09/15/i-will-always-love-you-cyclist-killed-by-boat-mourned-by-boyfriend/

  2. New York Post, Cyclist killed after boat detaches from truck, http://nypost.com/2015/09/15/bike-riding-woman-killed-after-boat-detaches-from-truck/

  3. Daily News, Bicyclist, 21, fatally struck by boat trailer on Staten Island remembered by loved ones as ‘sweet,’ ‘girl next door’, http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/cops-id-cyclist-fatally-hit-boat-trailer-staten-island-article-1.2360789