Cycling, Celebrating and Enjoying the City — All in a Driver’s Sights – New York Times

“He loved reading, he loved exercising on a bike, he loved his job,” Mr. Drake said. “He loved his life.”

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Ann-Laure Decadt

Mr. Drake said his son graduated from Rutgers University, and later became a member of the school board in the town where he lived, New Milford, eventually serving as vice president. He was studying for another Master’s degree, his father said. Every night, he returned home to have dinner with his parents, entertaining them with facts from his audiobooks.

Above all, he loved vacationing on cruise ships, having gone on 14 voyages, Mr. Drake said. He had recently lost 93 pounds after lap-band surgery, overcoming his passion for all-you-can-eat cruise ship buffets and Italian food, he said. He also had a fondness for the lottery and casinos, his father said.

“He was into everything that was either illegal, impractical or fattening,” he said with a laugh.

About 20 miles away from the Drake home, in Manhattan, reporters gathered in front of large doorman building on Greenwich Street — the home of Nicholas Francis Cleves, who was also killed in the attack.

Mr. Cleves, 24, attended the Little Red Schoolhouse in the West Village, and Elisabeth Irwin High School, a private school in Greenwich Village, before graduating from Skidmore College. Phil Kassen, the director of Little Red Schoolhouse and Elisabeth Irwin, described him as “what a teacher wants in class” — “hard-working, interested, a generous classmate, an interested member of activities and discussions.”

“Nicholas was always happy and curious and helpful,” he said.

Mr. Cleves was a computer science major at Skidmore, and friends remembered his interest in video games and robotics.

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From left, Hernan Ferruchi, Alejandro Pagnucco, Ariel Erlij, Ivan Brajckovic, Juan Pablo Trevisan, Hernan Mendoza, Diego Angelini and Ariel Benvenuto on Saturday at the airport in Rosario, Argentina, before leaving for New York. Mr. Ferruchi, Mr. Pagnucco, Mr. Erlij, Mr. Mendoza and Mr. Angelini were killed the attack.

Credit
Trevisan Family, via Associated Press

“From a young age I have been deeply interested in computers, gadgets, video games, and programming as an art form,” he wrote on LinkedIn.

Alex Silverstein, the owner of Unified Digital, a software company where Mr. Cleves worked for two years until recently, said he was hired as an intern and swiftly promoted to staff. Mr. Cleves was deeply humble, and had a gift dealing with even the most frustrated of customers. He was fascinated by emerging technology, and spoke excitedly about the handful of Tesla stock he bought; of his admiration for its founder, Elon Musk; and Bitcoin. “It’s about the promise,” Mr. Silverstein said. “He is like the future of programming and software, and now he’s gone.”

He added: “I feel like I’ve been robbed.”

Mr. Kassen said that Mr. Cleves had worked for Little Red Schoolhouse and Elisabeth Irwin after he went to Skidmore, helping with technical support. Mr. Cleves was at the school last Saturday, setting up computers for a meeting at the school, Mr. Kassen said.

Mr. Cleves also listed himself as the web developer for CX Design, a company in SoHo owned by his parents that sells handblown Italian glass. His father, Richard Cleves, wrote on the company’s website that he and Nicholas had ridden in the New York Century bicycle tour, which is promoted as the only all-urban 100-mile bike tour in the country.

CX Design’s website says that Richard Cleves arrived in New York and soon met Monica Missio, who was a neighbor on the Lower East Side. Eventually they moved to Greenwich Village, to a building close to where their son died.

On Tuesday night, Argentine government officials identified the five victims who lived in Argentina as Hernán Mendoza, Diego Angelini, Alejandro Pagnucco, Ariel Erlij and Hernán Ferruchi, all of whom had graduated from the Instituto Politécnico Superior in Rosario.

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Darren Drake, from his Facebook page

The other victim was Ann-Laure Decadt, 31, of Belgium, who had come to New York with her mother and two sisters, according to her husband, Alexander Naessens, who shared information about his wife with Francesco Vanderjeugd, the mayor of Staden, a village south of Bruges where she lived.

Mr. Naessens said he received a call from officials at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital less than an hour after the attack and was told that his wife had died. He said she was riding a bicycle near the Hudson River with her family when she was struck.

“This loss is unbearable and incomprehensible,” he said. She was “a fantastic wife and the most wonderful mother of our two little sons of 3 months and 3 years old.”

She worked for Ardo, a Belgian frozen food production company and worked with youth groups, the mayor said.

“It’s hard to imagine that someone who goes on a holiday can be taken out of life so brutally,” Mr. Vanderjeugd said on Flemish radio.

On Wednesday, Darren Drake’s parents drove from their home to Manhattan to identify their son’s body. The morgue, his father said, was three blocks from the hospital where his son was born.

“Looking at your son in a morgue, with the scars and black and blue,” Jimmy Drake said, I didn’t see my son of 32 years of age. I saw a newborn.”


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Cycling, Celebrating and Enjoying the City — All in a Driver’s Sights – New York Times

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