Ray Kelly’s NYC: No Charges for Driver Who Dragged Woman Under Cab

Emergency responders work to free Amy Fass from beneath a cab, after she was struck at W. 181st Street and Haven Avenue. The driver was not charged. Photo: Andrew Adams

A reader has identified the woman wounded by a cab driver in Upper Manhattan Sunday evening as Amy Fass of Washington Heights. The crash occurred in the 34th Precinct, where officers issued two speeding tickets in the last three months of 2012.

Fass was crossing 181st at Haven Avenue, near her home, at approximately 6:45 p.m. when she was struck as the cab driver appeared to be en route to the West Side Highway. Andrew Adams writes:

Amy, in her late 50s, was in the crosswalk when a driver of a SUV taxi struck her and drug her approximately 40 feet before he stopped when pedestrians screamed at him to do so. She was pinned underneath the taxi until emergency services responded to rescue her.

Another witness posted this account on a neighborhood parent list:

I saw when she was trapped under the taxi on Haven Ave. where it leads to the West Side Highway. The cab must have been speeding downhill on 181st. She lives on Haven in the building next to the highway entrance. My impression was that she was very badly hurt.

A third witness, James Ribas, told the Post: “I saw a cabby going real fast. He didn’t know he hit her.”

Fass was conscious at the scene, but at some point went into cardiac and respiratory arrest, according to an FDNY spokesperson. She was considered “not likely” to die when transported to Lincoln Hospital.

Adams heard from a family member today that Fass remains hospitalized. Her release date is uncertain, but she will require physical rehabilitation, the family member said.

Despite witness accounts and other evidence indicating that the cab driver was speeding — not to mention the fact that the driver struck a person and dragged her down the street — the Post reported that no charges were filed. If NYPD protocol was adhered to, no investigation was conducted into this crash, which, at the very least, seriously disrupted the victim’s life, and may have resulted in life-altering injuries.

This crash occurred in the 34th Precinct. To voice your concerns about neighborhood traffic safety directly to Deputy Inspector Barry M. Buzzetti, the commanding officer, go to the next precinct community council meeting. The 34th Precinct council meets tonight at 7 p.m. at Yeshiva University’s Rubin Hall, 2501 Amsterdam Avenue at W. 185th Street. Call 212-927-0576 or 212-927-0287 for information.

The City Council district where this crash occurred is represented by Robert Jackson. To encourage Jackson to take action to improve street safety in his district and citywide, contact him at 212-788-7007, rjackson@council.nyc.gov or @RJackson_NYC.

  • Anonymous

    how the F*@K can you not realize you just hit a person? 

  • Anon

    I wonder how many cyclists got ticketed for “running” a red light in the 34th Pct in the last three months of 2012.  I’m sure the two motor vehicle speeding tickets served as a real deterrent to this kind of reckless driving.

  • Every time I read an article like this on Streetsblog I think “It’s well past time someone sues NYPD every single time this happens.”  I don’t even know if that’s allowable under law, but it just seems egregious that someone can hit another human being while piloting a motor vehicle and walk away w/o any criminal charges.

  • @dattdeed:disqus Because when you’re in a Ford Explorer taxi, you’re quite insulated from the outside world. . . including when you plow over frail human bodies. All the more reason why big power vehicles and pedestrians simply don’t mix. The bigger question is: How the F*@K was he not charged for reckless driving, at minimum?

  • Driver

    I see way too many cab drivers who obviously do not have the proper skill set to be driving.  Anyone who drives around or has ridden in cabs extensively would probably agree. 

  • KillMoto

    Now is the time for all self-preservation minded citizens to start carrying a  walking stick.  

    When crossing and a speeding motorist tries to blow past said citizen, they hold out that stick letting the car know they must pass it with adequate space (the so-called “three foot rule”); penalty for violation this space is having to buy a new windshield.

    Over time, motorists will become sensitized to the dangers imposed by human beings exercising their rights to street space.  Some will slow, others will take more leeway when passing people.

    Change will take time.  We must start this process today.

  • Driver

    KillMoto, that would be a fine idea if so many pedestrians didn’t insist on standing in the street as close to moving traffic as possible while waiting for the light to change so they can cross.  It’s amazing how often I have had pedestrians stand in the street in or uncomfortably close to the turning radius of my truck, and don’t even want to move despite the fact that I have the light and they are waiting to cross a busy street where moving traffic has the right of way.  Many pedestrians are comfortable with a few inches of distance between themselves and my truck, and do not seem to care one bit that I am not comfortable with it. 
    When a segment of pedestrians insist on standing as close to moving traffic as possible, it tends to desensitize drivers to being so close to pedestrians.  It’s not a rare thing that screams for caution, it is a regular occurrence that one gets used to when driving in the city.

  • KillMoto

    @driver I suppose you are right, perhaps speed and traffic light cameras are a better idea.

  • Ian Turner

    @c44dc01f8107c1b33104b538f33b734d:disqus : I’m pretty sure that will lead to you getting arrested.

    http://www.streetsblog.org/2009/08/13/nypd-arrests-pedestrian-after-near-death-brush-with-raging-motorist/

  • Andrew

    Come on. The cabby was obviously in a hurry. You think he had time to bother looking for pedestrians? Pedestrians should know better than to cross the street when drivers might be in a hurry! If you really want to cross the street, get your own car.

  • Shocked

    This is my sister-in-law. Walking in a crosswalk. With a big walking stick. Her backpack saved her life. Why no charges? Why no speeding ticket? Seriously NY? 

  • Why wasn’t this cab driver charged with reckless endangerment? Why does NYPD give these reckless drivers a pass, every day of every week?

    NY Penal Code § 120.20 Reckless endangerment in the second degree.

    A person is guilty of reckless endangerment in the second degree when
    he recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk of
    serious physical injury to another person. Reckless endangerment in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor.

  • Anonymous

    Quick: Somebody call our Public Advocate and ask him to advocate for Amy Fass!  Oh wait, she is not an “outer boro” resident.  Never mind.

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