After a cab drove up onto the sidewalk in the Flatiron neighbourhood of Manhattan on Monday afternoon, three passengers were taken to hospitals with life-threatening injuries. According to the police, the driver struck a pedestrian, a cyclist, and numerous other people with his car.
The Fire Department reports that the cab collided with a building at around one in the afternoon at the intersection of 29th Street and Broadway. This is an area that is densely populated with hotels, restaurants, and clubs. Officials from the police department were conducting an investigation to determine what caused the incident, which they think was an accident at this point in time.
According to the authorities, the taxi driver was making a left turn into Broadway when he struck a bicycle and sent his cab careening onto the pavement. The driver then stepped on the gas, which caused the car to speed up and slam two people into a wall.
The forty-year-old Mamadou Barry was one of the people who saw the incident as it took place. He added that the biker remained aware despite having his arm twisted in an awkward position.
Mr. Barry, together with more than a dozen other witnesses, moved the taxi out of the way so that they could rescue a victim who had been crushed. Mr. Barry turned his head aside while pedestrians yelled in pain because he did not want to know how severe their injuries were. “It was terrifying,” he said afterward.
During a press conference, the Deputy Chief John Chell of the New York City Police Department said that “a fantastic scenario occurred place: around fifteen to twenty New Yorkers tried to pull this taxi off of these ladies.”
After hearing a disturbance coming from his store, Mohammad Khan, who owns a perfume shop in the area, said that he ran to the scene of the accident and arrived to discover the victims with gruesome injuries. According to him, while they waited for the ambulances to come, bystanders were soothing them and gave them water as they waited.
According to a statement made by a representative for the Police Department earlier on Monday, the investigation into the collision is looking into whether or not the driver had a “medical episode” before to the incident.
According to the police, there were at least six persons who were hurt in the accident and sent to the hospital, one of them was the taxi driver. Three of them suffered injuries that were potentially fatal.
Around three in the afternoon, the taxi was still present at the site, which was located next to a dessert shop and a juice store. There was a bicycle parked in the green bike lane, and the driver’s door was left open.
The collision occurred in the midst of a remarkable increase in the number of fatalities caused by road accidents during the epidemic in the city and throughout the nation.
According to statistics provided by Transportation Alternatives, a nonprofit that advocates for the rights of cyclists and pedestrians, there were 59 individuals died in accidents that occurred in New York City during the first three months of this year. Since 2014, when then-Mayor Bill de Blasio introduced his Vision Zero traffic safety initiative that sought to eradicate all road fatalities by 2024, this has been the bloodiest beginning to a year since the programme was first implemented.
As a result of more individuals choosing to avoid using public transportation, there was an increase in the number of persons in the city who owned cars during the epidemic. According to statistics provided by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the number of people using the subway on a recent weekend in June was about equivalent to sixty percent of what it would have been on a similar weekend prior to the epidemic.
Recently, Mayor Eric Adams made an announcement about an investment of $904 million on safer streets over the next five years. This money would aid for amenities such as increasing the number of protected bike lanes and increasing the number of pedestrian-only areas. He has also said that law enforcement officers would be more vigilant in their enforcement of traffic regulations.