Heartbroken Brooklyn parents mourn motorcycle-riding son, killed by Mercedes driver pulling into gas station

Heartbroken Brooklyn parents mourn motorcycle-riding son, killed by Mercedes driver pulling into gas station
·2 min read

A veteran Brooklyn motorcyclist climbed on his bike to visit a friend — and never made it home.

The heavyhearted parents of Robert Ottofaro Jr. were left Tuesday to mourn their 32-year-old son, who survived for six days after a Mercedes-Benz driver pulling into a Brooklyn gas station clipped his 2015 Yamaha R1 motorcycle on a warm autumn afternoon.

“The weather was beautiful,” mom Donna Ottofaro recalled of the day her son took his last ride. “He wanted to take his bike, visit his friend. He said he will be right back . . . He just loved life.”

Her son was headed home around 1:35 p.m. Oct. 2 when he was struck on Hamilton Ave. near Henry St. in Red Hook.

“God just needed an angel,” his mother said of the tragic crash.

The victim’s father Robert Sr. offered fond memories after a wake for his namesake drew more than 500 mourners. Robert Jr. died this past Friday.

“My son was truly a rock star,” the dad recalled. “I’m just so impressed that so many people liked him, because of his kind heart. He would give his shirt, help people out any way he could. It was just him.”

The parents, preparing for a Wednesday funeral, recalled Robert Jr. as an experienced motorcyclist who started riding a bike about 15 years ago. The victim loved the outdoors, whether on his motorcycle, going camping or playing sports.

“He had a lot of hobbies,” recalled Robert Sr. “And everything that was his hobby, he focused very deeply and learned everything about it. It was pretty amazing, the way he was.”

The Dyker Heights couple described the death as a tragic accident rather than blaming the 30-year-old driver of the 2020 Mercedes-Benz that killed their son. The driver has not been ticketed or charged in the fatal collision, police said, with the accident occurring after she exited the elevated Brooklyn-Queens Expressway to pull into into a BP gas station.

“The gas station should not be so close to the exit of the highway,” Donna said. “He was just sideswiped, no chance to react.”

Ottofaro was knocked off his bike on impact and was unconscious when EMS rushed him to New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, police said.

He clung to life there for six days, with the family keeping a sad vigil at his bedside before making the heart-wrenching decision to take him off life support after learning he had no hope of recovery.

Ottofaro, along with his brother, worked with their dad at Panda Sports in Bay Ridge, a sporting goods store the family opened in 1987.

The father was at work when he received the call from his wife about the deadly wreck.

“I have no fear of death anymore,” said Robert Sr. “It just changed my perspective. I have no problem with death — because I know my son will be there and I will see him again.”

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