Pedro Santiago
45 years old

Pedro Santiago worked as a clerk at a book store. He loved to read but, after sending money to his family in Mexico each month, had little left over for books of his own.

Then Henry Rhinehart, owner of Henry’s Bistro on the Upper West Side, hired Pedro to work as the restaurant’s first deliveryman. Now Pedro had two jobs, but extra spending money, too.

“Pedro was the only employee I’ve ever had who would read Cervantes and great authors from around the world in his downtime,” Rhinehart said. “He wasn’t ambitious for money. He was ambitious for knowledge and experience and knew what he wanted, which was steady employment, to be treated with respect, and for it to be okay for him to read on his downtime.”

When Pedro died, he was was taking classes at Columbia University and was hoping to become an engineer. “It’s not everyone you’d find who’s as charming and educated and interesting as Pedro,” Rinehart said.

This collision happened on January 19, 2014 near 125th Street and Lenox Avenue in Manhattan. See details in the Mean Streets Tracker.

Mean Streets 2014: Who We Lost, How They Lived

Throughout 2014, WNYC tracked the 265 men, women and children killed in traffic crashes in New York City. In addition to reporting the circumstances of their deaths, we looked at who they were in life: mothers, fathers, grandparents, students, recent immigrants and native New Yorkers. To read some of their stories, click on a photograph.