A yellow taxi driver in an SUV ran over a cyclist and pinned two pedestrians against a building at a busy intersection in Midtown Manhattan Monday — triggering a spontaneous effort by horrified spectators to lift the cab off the victims, police said.
The crash left six people injured, including the driver, with three taken to Bellevue Hospital in critical condition. Police sources said two of the victims suffered significant leg injuries, and one’s leg was severed entirely.
The driver turned left onto Broadway from W. 29th St. about 12:55 p.m. and T-boned the cyclist who was heading downtown in the bike lane, according to cops.
The cabbie slowed down after hitting the cyclist but then sped up after jumping the curb, pinning two women on the sidewalk against a wall outside a Black Seed Bagel shop, video reviewed by cops shows.
“About 15 to 20 New Yorkers attempted to pick this cab off these women,” NYPD Deputy Chief John Chell said during a news conference following the incident.
Adam Seitzman, 31, witnessed the crash aftermath from the seventh floor of a building on the corner.
“Everyone scattered but then about 15 seconds later… everyone ran back realizing that people were pinned,” said Seitzman, who said there was a passenger in the cab when its driver jumped the curb. “That guy who was in the taxi said that when they were turning left, that he was like, ‘Is he going to stop? Is he going to stop? Is he going to stop?’ And then they hit the bicyclist.”
Mamadou Barry, 40, said he was one of the people who tried to lift the cab off the women.
“(The driver) turned real fast and there were people sitting there and he hit them too and then the wall stopped the car,” said Barry. “It just happened real fast. He hit (the bicyclist) and we were screaming, ‘What the hell is going on?’”
The crowd pried the cab off at least one of the women pinned against the wall, according to Barry.
Mohammad Khan, 63, who owns S&A Perfumes Inc. on the corner of 29th St. and Broadway, said one of the women who was pinned “had chopped feet” and the other’s “bone was coming out (of her leg) and her feet were turning inside out.”
“A lot of people came out, the good thing about New Yorkers, they came out (to) help,” said Khan, who also said he rushed to the scene to join the effort to move the cab off the victims.
Witnesses said the cyclist’s arm was twisted and his leg crushed as he lay in the street in shock after the crash.
“At first I thought he was going to die,” Barry said of the cyclist.
The cab driver told Barry and other bystanders he lost control of his car and that his brake may have not been working.
Two of the victims are from Mexico and two are from Ohio, Mayor Adams said after the crash.
“We just want to make sure that we’re there for them at this time,” said Adams. “It’s one of those tragic events that can happen with vehicles, pedestrians and bikes all come together at the same time.”
He also praised the effort of those at the scene to help out.
“Watching those New Yorkers that responded the way they did, it just shows how compassionate we are as a city,” Adams said.
The gruesome crash comes during a bloody year of car crashes in the city.
At least 103 people have been killed by motorists on city streets this year, data shows. That’s down slightly from the 108 traffic deaths reported at this point in 2021, which recorded the most people killed in car crashes during a calendar year since former Mayor Bill de Blasio launched the “Vision Zero” program with the goal of making the city safer for pedestrians and cyclists.
NYPD data show 3,783 pedestrians were injured in traffic crashes this year through June 14, up 22% from the 2,23 pedestrian injuries reported during the same period of 2021. The number of pedestrians injured in crashes this year is down 20% from the 4,723 reported in 2019 through June 14, before the COVID-19 pandemic shifted traffic patterns across the city.
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