Felipe Avila
29 years old

Workers at the Rosamaria Bakery in Staten Island remember Felipe Avila as a hard worker. His boss, Joseph Silvestro, said he can’t remember Felipe ever taking a sick day, “If someone didn’t show up, he’d come in to cover. He didn’t mess around. He got his work done.”

When he wasn’t packing and making deliveries for the bakery, Felipe took odd jobs in construction. He used the extra money to help out his parents in Mexico, whom he hadn’t seen since he left the country in 2000. Recently, he’d also been supporting his sister, who was suffering from a prolonged illness.

“He never complained,” said Susan, who works in the front of the store, “He was always a cheerful, quiet guy.” Asuncion Mendez, Felipe’s girlfriend of 5 years, also worked at the bakery. In their off hours, they liked to spend time with her grandchildren, Alexander, 4, and Daisy, 2.

When he died, Avila’s body was returned home to his parents in Mexico.

This collision happened on January 1, 2014 near Lafayette Avenue and Cassidy Place in Staten Island. 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.