William Pena was an early riser, usually leaving his home in Hillside, New Jersey, before 5 a.m. to start his shift as a bus driver with the MTA. His brother, Eriberto, knew his schedule well. That’s because William would send him texts as he headed to work. “He thought waking me up was funny,” Eriberto said.
On the same 14th street crosstown route he drove for almost two decades, William would often see another brother: Alex, who worked at a nearby hotel. Alex would put out his hand as if hailing the bus like a taxi; William would beep twice in return.
And William would sometimes see yet another brother as he drove: Lionel, a police officer at a precinct near Union Square. That was their neighborhood.
William planned to retire to the Dominican Republic -- where he was born and lived until the age of 2 -- with his partner, Nancy. They had recently brought their daughter Gabrielle there to celebrate her 16th birthday.
“In the last 5 a.m. text he joked that we should open a taco stand there,” said Eriberto. “Whatever we don’t sell, we eat.”
This collision happened on February 12, 2014 near 14th Street and 7th Avenue in Manhattan. See details in the Mean Streets Tracker.