Cy Vance: Driver Who Jumped the Curb and Hit Senior Not Reckless

A motorist who hit another vehicle, jumped the curb, struck a 90-year-old man and crashed into Saks Fifth Avenue was not driving recklessly, according to the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance.

Dr. Mansoor Day, with the Rockettes. Photo via Daily News

Mansoor Day was taking his regular walk Wednesday morning when Richard Moussi, driving a Ford SUV with North Carolina plates, hit another vehicle, mounted the curb and struck the victim before hitting the building, according to reports.

The Daily News reports that Day, a well-known physician, is in critical condition with a broken neck, broken hip, and two broken legs.

Moussi was charged with having a fraudulent insurance card, according to the News and court records, but he was not charged for the crash, or for putting Dr. Day in the hospital. “Prosecutors said there was no evidence he was driving recklessly,” the News reported.

“There are accepted methods of estimating pre-crash vehicle speed based on the nature of the impact, the height of the curb, and other factors,” says attorney Steve Vaccaro. “Yes, a crash in and of itself is not evidence of reckless driving. But there is a lot more here than the mere fact of a crash. Was all the available evidence, including any eyewitness accounts, gathered and evaluated before prosecutors concluded that there was no evidence of recklessness?”

We asked Vance spokesperson Erin Duggan if it was determined whether Moussi was speeding or using a phone before the crash, but since he is facing a criminal charge, she said she could not discuss the case.

In 2012, 3,959 pedestrians and cyclists were wounded in Manhattan, and 41 were killed, according to NYPD. The majority of those crashes were not investigated by police, and none of the drivers involved in fatal crashes are known to have been charged for taking a life.

  • KeNYC2030

    Imagine a world in which a motorist who jumps a curb and smashes into a building would have to prove that he or she had NOT been driving recklessly.  If I walk down the street in a state that allows guns to be openly carried and I discharge the gun, striking a bystander, would the operating assumption be “no criminality suspected”? 

  • krstrois

    I hope Dr. Day will make a full recovery. It should be a crime for a car to jump a sidewalk at any speed, even when the driver doesn’t hurt anyone. 
    Every license plate in my Brooklyn neighborhood is tagged either Pennsylvania or North Carolina. I wait in vain for the INS FRD vanity plate. Also that is a seriously awesome photo. 

  • Mark Walker

    Heavily tracked sidewalks in the central business district should be bollarded. The protection of pedestrians should not be an honor system depending entirely on the physical and mental capacities of drivers. The built environment itself should protect pedestrians from drivers.

  • Mark Walker

    “Heavily tracked” … I meant trafficked.

  • krstrois

    A business like Saks has a better chance at getting bollards installed. We care so much more for private property than human life in this city. 

  • Joe R.

    Yes, bollards should be mandatory on any sidewalk with even medium pedestrian traffic. It’s a cost effective solution to what seems to be an increasing problem. Of course, the first driver who totals their car will complain like crazy, but actually that’s the entire point here-the bollards will ensure that the reckless driver and his/her vehicle suffer the brunt of the consequences for reckless or inattentive driving, not hapless pedestrians.

  • Daniel Winks

    How is this not reckless?  If he lost control of his vehicle then he was being reckless.  This murderist was obviously driving too fast for his skill, vehicle and conditions.  That, in and of itself is reckless.  Had the murderist been going 15MPH would this have happened?  No?  What about 20?  Or 10?  There’s a speed at which things like this just simply ‘can’t happen’ (as in, a one in a billion occurrence), short of sudden death of the driver and resultant total loss of control of the vehicle (and even this can be easily and cheaply prevented with a wrist-strap based heart monitor with an engine shut-off). Why do we continue to let murderists drive their death machines at such high rates of speed in urban areas?  There’s no reason to ever allow cars in city cores.

    Why did the murderist hit the other vehicle?  Changing the radio station?  Messing with a phone?  Looking through the glove box?  Driving too fast?  Vision impaired?  DWI?  Tired?  Distracted?  Lack of driving skill?  All of these are at-fault recklessness!  I can’t think of a SINGLE THING that would be not the fault of the driver. 

    Even things like mechanical failure are still the fault of the driver, for not properly maintaining their vehicle and/or driving at speeds or in a way their vehicle wasn’t capable of.  If I tried to take a corner at 35 and snapped my tie-rod, veered off the road and killed someone, that would be MY FAULT.  I didn’t ensure my vehicle was strong enough and well enough maintained to handle such speeds, and as such, I shouldn’t have been traveling at that speed.  Driving a 4,000lb vehicle at 20+ MPH isn’t some sort of right.  If it can’t be done with 100% safety then it SHOULD NOT BE DONE.

  • KillMoto

    It’s time to make “the licensee surrenders all rights to personal privacy while occupying or operating a motor vehicle on the roads of NYC.  This specifically includes but is not limited to: motor vehicle black box data; cell phone records; vehicle operational parameters collected from outside the vehicle such as traffic light and speed cameras; private, commercial collection of commuting pattern data correlated to vehicle make and license plate…” etc.

    If people had to explicitly surrender these perceived privacies (I would contend that these elements of the crime of maiming and/or killing are not private to begin with), some people would refuse (and thus not drive), some would drive more carefully, and the negligent drivers would have their haphazard ways easily exposed for prosecution.

  • Andrew

    I’m confused. Based on yesterday’s five articles, it was an autonomous SUV. All of a sudden there was a driver? Where did he come from?

  • Anonymous

    Cars going at 30mph or below don’t “hit other vehicles, jump curbs and hit building”. he was speeding. Plain and simple.

  • swifty

    Either the transportation system based on cars is at fault or the driver and most likely it is the system; it has been criminally negilgent ultimately on a huge scale for many years and must cease and desist and remedy the situation.

  • swifty

    Further climate change has been caused in part by this system and the liability on this score exists as well.

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