When the Lincoln Towncar he was traveling in was struck at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 15, by a Chrysler Sebring Rodriquez was allegedly driving the wrong way down 58th Road near the Long Island Expressway, George Gibbons, 37, flew from the back seat into the cab driver’s lap.
Gibbons, owner of the year-old, popular Maspeth bar The Gibbons' Home, was pronounced dead and the unidentified cab driver was listed in critical condition at Elmhurst Hospital.
George Gibbons Sr., the deceased bar owner's father, received condolences from community members, including Congressman Joe Crowley, who said The Gibbons' Home was among his favorite local bars, before the conference outside of Maspeth Federal Bank.
Maspeth Town Hall so far has raised a $10,000 Crimestoppers reward for anyone who gives information to police that leads to the capture of Rodriquez, whose last known address was in Brooklyn and is now on the lam, Liz Crowley said.
Gibbons Sr. said before the conference that he was “delighted” by the support from his community and that he has a strong desire to catch his son's killer.
“Hopefully this will help,” he said, referring to the reward and the media attention drawn by the press conference.
His youngest daughter, Bernadette Gibbons, who addressed the crowd, said her older brother brought light to her family by making them smile and laugh even in times of grief.
“Peter Rodriquez, if you're watching, you have destroyed us, inside and out,” she said. “Only a coward runs from his mistakes, but it takes a real man to come forward.”
She added, “You may be able to run, but you cannot hide for long, because we will find you.”
Her brother was on his way from work to his nearby home on 60th Drive when the accident occurred.
According to witnesses, two men were seen running from the scene, but one returned to receive treatment for a large gash on his head. He was identified as 44-year-old Andre McKanney of Jamaica, Queens. He was charged with possession of marijuana.
To donate to the reward, make checks payable to the Maspeth Town Hall Gibbons Reward Fund.