Another Curb-Jumping Cab Driver Wreaks Havoc in Midtown North Precinct

Photo: ##https://twitter.com/BraddJaffy/status/369844857260347392/photo/1##@BraddJaffy##

Three pedestrians were injured, two seriously, this morning when a cab driver jumped a curb in a Midtown precinct where NYPD has issued 10 speeding tickets in the last year and a half.

The crash occurred at Sixth Avenue and 49th Street at approximately 11:19 a.m. Photos from the scene show the cab well up onto the sidewalk, by the fountain at 1251 Sixth Avenue, behind one of the Midtown pedestrian corrals.

Two victims were transported, according to FDNY, and one refused medical attention. One victim was in critical condition, and one serious but stable.

Witnesses told the Daily News that a British tourist, in the city on the first day of her trip, had her foot severed. One of the witnesses was “celebrity doctor” Mehmet Oz, who attended to the victim.

The drama began a little after 11 a.m. when the cab that was west bound on 49th Street suddenly lost control as it was turning right onto Sixth Ave., just a block south of Rockefeller Center, witnesses said.

Mohammed Elsayed, who operates a food stand on the corner, said he had just sold the victim a hot dog and she was noshing on it by the fountain with a female friend.

Then, out of the blue, the cabbie smashed into her.

“Her leg was out, it was just out under the cart on the sidewalk,” the horrified vendor said. “I ran with ice and a bucket. We put the foot in the bucket. There was a lot of blood.”

Elsayed said the woman was too stunned to scream. “She was awake, but she couldn’t talk,” he said.

The Post reported that the woman may have lost both her legs below the knee. FDNY could not confirm reports that one of the victims suffered an amputation. The Post also says the cab driver hit a cyclist, who was “scraped up and shaken,” and that a witness said “it looked as if the hack had been run off the road by a bicyclist, although not the one who had been hit.”

A tweet that the Collision Investigation Squad was dispatched could not be confirmed by NYPD, nor did police have information on charges against the cab driver as of early this afternoon.

This is at least the second serious injury crash involving a yellow cab in the Midtown North Precinct in the last month. On July 16, a man standing with his wife and kids on the sidewalk was hit when two cab drivers collided at Seventh Avenue and 52nd Street.

Precinct officers issued one speeding ticket in 2012, and as of July had cited nine drivers for speeding in 2013, according to NYPD summons data.

Photo: Daily News

Yellow cab drivers have been involved in at least three pedestrian and cyclist fatalities in 2013, according to crash data compiled by Streetsblog, in addition to other crashes that resulted in injury. Cab drivers in NYC log more hours per shift than long-haul truckers.

To voice your concerns about neighborhood traffic safety directly to Inspector Timothy J. Beaudette, the commanding officer of Midtown North, go to the next precinct community council meeting. The Midtown North Precinct council meets on the third Tuesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. at 339 W. 47th Street, though no meetings are held in July or August. Call 212-767-8447 for information.

The City Council district where this crash occurred is represented by Dan Garodnick. To encourage Garodnick to take action to improve street safety in his district and citywide, contact him at 212-788-7393, garodnick@council.nyc.ny.us or @DanGarodnick.

  • Vladimir Gorochenko

    The cabbie swerved to avoid a bike that ran a red light. I wonder why this article doesn’t mention this fact.

  • Anonymous

    Oh are you the lead investigator?

  • Ian Turner

    And you know this how?

  • Ian Turner

    And you know this how?

  • Because even if the cab swerved to avoid a cyclist that was violating traffic rules, at a safe speed that cab would have stopped at or near the curb (which is designed to really slow down any wayward vehicles that mount it). Something is seriously wrong with the cab driver’s actions no matter what may have triggered their diversion. BTW that “errant bike” thing isn’t an official report from the police, it’s just something one of the news outlets heard (which could have been a false excuse from the driver and not a real issue here)

  • Reader

    If one is traveling at or below the legal speed limit and swerves to avoid someone doing something stupid, as people are wont to do in a crowded city, winding up 1/4 of the way down a sidewalk with enough force to sever a woman’s leg is next to impossible.

    And how do you know that this detail is fact? Because someone in the NYPD told someone at NBC?

  • Anonymous

    If what you claim is true, we have to ask, “swerved”? How fast was he going if he had to “swerve”? At a reasonable speed he could have tapped his brakes.

  • Frank Dell

    Source, Vladimir?

  • Anonymous

    It doesn’t mention that fact because . . . okay it does mention that “fact”:

    “”it looked as if the hack had been run off the road by a bicyclist, although not the one who had been hit.”

    Better trolling next time!

  • Anonymous

    The Daily News does mention something about the possibility that the driver was trying to avoid a cyclist, but it doesn’t say anything about anyone running a red light.

    Given the location, I imagine there will be surveillance footage available.

  • Brad Aaron

    If you are driving like you have some sense, nothing happens suddenly.

  • Fox has a different version of events. Completely plausible, given what anyone with at least one working eye sees on a regular basis.

    “Sources tell MyFoxNY.com that a cabbie had gotten into a road rage argument with a livery cab driver and the cars were trying to out run each other.

    The cabbie apparently lost control and jumped the curb, hitting the woman who had been sitting on the fountain ledge.”

    http://www.myfoxny.com/story/23183036/cab-hits-pedestrian#ixzz2cX3bTxeC

  • krstrois

    This could happen to any one of us, at any time, because the NYPD simply do not enforce traffic laws at all.

  • Clarke

    Just passed the scene…NYPD everywhere, waving traffic on 6th Ave through red lights as pedestrians are trying to cross, cabs failing to yield at crosswalks in front of cops just standing on the scene, cars blocking crosswalk on red light in front of cops. That’s why this story has no shock value at all…you can break traffic law literally in front of police officers and not even face a verbal warning.

  • Anonymous

    No: someone on a bike RAN THE CAB OFF THE ROAD. I see this happen every single day.

    And as someone who lives on Taustine Street in downtown Rabinowitzville, I should know.

  • Joe R.

    Outside of in Rabinowitzville, I’ve never seen a bike run a cab off the road. Usually, the exact opposite happens.

  • Anonymous

    They do….by setting up ‘stings’ by parking vans in bicycle lanes or handing out tickets to bike riders on the hudson river greenway.

  • Mark Walker

    Giuliani put cattle fences in this area to protect cars from pedestrians. He should have put in bollards to protect pedestrians from cars.

  • And with this latest vehicular mayhem, I no longer feel the tiniest bit neurotic for using subway stations to navigate midtown streets near my office as often as I’m able, even if I have to go a little out of my way. It’s the only sane thing to do when you’re a pedestrian in this town.

  • Joe R.

    I habitually use subway stations as defacto underpasses every time they’re available. If nothing else, using them avoids potential harm and waiting for a walk signal (assuming the street has too much traffic to cross on red).

  • Anonymous

    If the cab was making a right on 6th Avenue, then he started on the far side of the intersection (49th runs East to West). So if a bike ran a red in front of him he should have been able to either stop or crank the wheel to the right and made a tighter turn. How the hell did he make it all the way across the intersection, across at least 5 lanes of traffic and then 50 feet down the sidewalk to strike the woman because of a bike? Give me a break.

  • JK

    How about someone maps news accounts of curb jumping incidents from Sblog’s Weekly Carnage. Better yet, let’s see a map of the “off roadway” crashes in the DMV/SDOT database. There are a lot. DOT has scoffed at the expense and effort in putting bollards up everywhere, but they don’t need to be everywhere, just where curb jumping keeps happening in pedestrian dense areas like Midtown, Downtown Bklyn and Flushing.

  • Here’s another version of events. This also sounds all too typical. Cab drivers tend not to be able to wait for 1/2 of one second for cyclists to proceed before turning.

    http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20130820/midtown/woman-struck-by-taxi-cab-near-rockefeller-center-fdny-says

    “The cyclist was riding up Sixth Avenue alongside the cab when the motorist tried to make a left onto 49th Street about 11 a.m., the cyclist said.

    “I told him, ‘Stop,'” said the cyclist, who banged on the hood. “He gets angry. He honked his horn and accelerates.”

    The cyclist said he was then knocked onto the hood of the cab, and was carried along as the cab swerved up onto the sidewalk.”

  • Anonymous

    Where is the national media coverage of incidents like these? A young woman sitting on a bench in Midtown Manhattan had limbs severed by a reckless driver. Had she been attacked by a shark, this would be national news.

  • Anonymous

    This seems like the most legit version of events. It’s also consistent with the fact that the cyclist ended up bruised on the hood of the cab, and reports that people saw the cab accelerate, not brake, in the immediate leadup to the curb-jumping.

    Note that there’s a (narrow, hair-raising) bike lane on the west side of sixth avenue, and that the cyclist would clearly have had the right of way. Especially if he was in a position to bang on the *hood* of the cab, not the door or rear side-panel. And nobody ran a red light here. (Either that or everybody did. 😮 )

  • Joe Enoch

    I actually work for a national news program and this is the top story of our show today, although unfortunately our interest was more Dr. Oz’s involvement than the dangerous habits of taxi drivers.

  • vnm

    Actually for whatever reason that bike lane ends at 42nd Street, so at this intersection there is no bike lane.

  • Anonymous

    Hmmm, yeah, you’re absolutely right. I used to ride that way every so often when I worked in midtown, and there _used_ to be a bike lane there, but it must’ve been jettisoned at some point the last few years. The left-hand curb lane still has the slight margin of extra width, though.

  • Anonymous

    I ride on 6th Ave often and I feel safer on the parts with no bike lane. The reason is that this particular bike lane is useless, being extremely narrow and entirely within the door zone. This means that the safer choice is to take the car lane, and I feel more comfortable doing that when there is no bike line because then I don’t have to worry about getting a ticket (or angry motorists) for not using the unusable bike lane.

    I like bike lanes generally, but this is one of the worst I’ve seen.

  • Clarke

    The part by Bryant Park is the closest to being a proper bike lane (between 33rd and 35th).

  • Anonymous

    Just saw this covered as one of the lead stories in the 4pm hour on NY1. (I’m working from home today.) No mention of Dr. Oz, which I guess is a minor victory. (No offense to him, but he’s clearly not the story.)

  • Anonymous

    Well then, he won’t mind volunteering – nay, insisting – that the cab’d black box be read, hmmmmmmmm?

  • Anonymous

    DNAInfo has additional info at http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20130820/midtown/woman-struck-by-taxi-cab-near-rockefeller-center-fdny-says.

    In short, a cab driver with zero patience for a cyclist with the right of way gets angry, floors it, and nearly kills a woman sitting eating a hot dog. We need safer street design, and you can take action by signing the Transportation Alternatives petition athttps://secure3.convio.net/ta/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=221&pw_id=2441

    StreetsPAC -endorsed City Council candidate Dan Garodnick has pledged to look at redesigning 5th & 6th as a safer “complete street” if elected, and to push #NYPD to prioritize traffic safety over issuing tickets for infractions where safety is not an issue.

  • Anonymous

    While I am all for redesign for safety, we need to get punitive with negligent taxi drivers. If he doesn’t face criminal charges, I don’t know what New York Citibikes and tourists are doing on our streets.

    And sure, push for all sorts of redesign that will take eons to complete. But first, enact laws that will put schmucks like this cab driver in jail. And follow up with cycling and pedestrian safety standards built into a driving test so that everyone knows them, and have to answer knowledgeably to be able to drive a regular or commercial vehicle.

  • HH

    Is it Dan Garodnick’s district, or Christine Quinn’s? I’m just sick about this… it should absolutely be prosecuted.

  • Dumbfounded

    According to the City Council district maps this is in Christine Quinn’s office. Let’s see if she shows leadership on this issue and calls for a thorough investigation.

  • dumbfounded

    *district

  • Andrew

    Should it be any surprise that the Midtown North Precinct has somewhat of a windshield perspective?

    http://goo.gl/maps/XRXA1

    Nothing new here.

    http://www.panoramio.com/photo_explorer#view=photo&position=1955&with_photo_id=23699869&order=date_desc&user=2465971

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