Monica Hernandez / Eyewitness News
Email: | Twitter: @mhernandezwwl

NEW ORLEANS Dozens of cyclists rode for one purpose Friday night. They gathered to remember Philip 'Geric' Geck, who was killed in a crash with an 18 wheeler while riding his bike at the intersection of St. Claude and Elysian Fields Thursday afternoon.

'Geric was the most amazing person you could have ever met, the greatest best friend anyone could ever ask for,' said Corderro Nero, Geck's best friend and roommate.

Nero remembers Geck as a caring friend and advocate for the vegan community and gay community.

'I'm still in a state of shock because of all the people I know, he did not deserve this at all,' said Shane Norris, Geck's friend.

Friends and fellow cyclists lit candles and laid flowers in front of a white bike set up near the crash site in memory of the local artist and massage therapist.

Geck had the day off and was riding his bike to an appointment when he was killed, said Nero.

Victor Pizarro saw the gruesome scene unfold. The images still haunt him.

'I saw the look on his face which was a look of agony and confusion,' said Pizarro.

Pizarro says Geck was in the bike lane when the tanker truck made a wide right turn onto Elysian Fields.

'He realized it, in that moment he realized it,' said Pizarro. '[Geck] began to turn and as he turned his wheel it was too late, because one of the back wheels of the tractor trailer caught his back bike wheel and turned him under.'

Geck was pronounced dead on the scene. Police say the crash is still under investigation but haven't cited the driver.

'Just a quick glimpse in somebody's mirror... and this person would be alive today,' said Pizarro.

Many who gathered near the crash site Friday say Geck's death highlights the need for better infrastructure to keep cyclists and pedestrians safe.

Dozens stood with their bikes to shut down Elysian Fields in an impromptu protest. Police arrived on scene for crowd control. No one was arrested and the event remained peaceful.

Meanwhile, a man put up a sign that said 'Watch for Bikes' on a pole near the crash site.

Community members say a traffic sign that said, 'no turn on red' has been missing from the intersection for years.

Friends and fellow cyclists say they'll continue to push for change while they remember the 52 year old artist who loved riding his bike.

The city says it'll work with the Department of Transportation and Development to make any necessary safety improvements to the intersection, pending the outcome of NOPD's investigation.

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