Gibbons was killed on Saturday, Oct. 15, in a hit-and-run accident involving Peter Rodriguez, who drove his car the wrong way down the Long Island Expressway service road at 58th Road in Maspeth. It collided with a livery cab that Gibbons, the owner of nearby bar The Gibbons' Home, was taking home that night. Rodriguez fled the scene and was arrested a month later.
Various members of the community spoke in support for the street renaming.
“To have a street co-named George Gibbons Jr. Way would not just be an honor to him if he were here to see it, but an honor to our family and the community,” said Bernadette Gibbons, one of George's sisters. “Children will not have the honor of knowing who George was, but in years to come, if they were to look up and ask their parents whose name was on the sign, they would be able to find out who he was and what he stood for and how he was tragically killed.”
Bernadette also stressed that the co-naming would be a reminder of the importance of vehicle safety.
Residents along 60th drive also came out to support the co-naming of the street.
Jennifer Terriberry, a homeowner on 60th drive for the past 33 years, said she and her husband moved in to the neighborhood across the street from the Gibbons family.
“Losing George was not only devastating to his family, but to his extended family in the neighborhood. He tragically lost his life and we lost a valued member of the community,” Terriberry said. “We can't change what happened but we can honor George by co-naming a street after him to show his family and the members of the community how well he was loved.”
Terriberry added that residents of 60th Drive would do whatever it took to see that the honor was upheld.
“I knew George a long time and he was a very good person,” said Councilwoman Liz Crowley.
Crowley said she remembered Gibbons dee-jaying at block parties in the community and other social events.
“As a member of the Maspeth community who was loved by so many, I think not only because of the person he was but because of the way he was tragically killed, we should co-name the street,” she said.
With the Board 5 vote, Eric Yun of Crowley’s office said the next step will be to vote on the proposal in the City Council.