NYPD: Repeat Drunk Driver Hits Three Pedestrians and Cyclist in East Village

An intoxicated and speeding motorist with a history of drunk driving jumped a curb and slammed into a storefront in the East Village this morning, putting three pedestrians and a cyclist in the hospital, according to NYPD and published reports.

Just before 7 a.m., Shaun Martin of Bayside was barreling south on Second Avenue in a Nissan sedan at 75 mph when he jumped the curb and plowed through a sidewalk stand in front of a bodega at E. Fourth Street, reports said. Martin also reportedly struck a fire hydrant, a street sign, a loaded bike rack, and a tree.

The Daily News and the Post quoted a witness who said the driver was racing another motorist, but an NYPD spokesperson disputed that account, and said only one vehicle was involved in the crash.

Three employees of the store were hurt, police said, along with a man who was riding a Citi Bike. The Times reports that the three pedestrians were outside the bodega. One of the victims is a 62-year-old man who was hospitalized in critical condition.

“He was lying on the sidewalk,” said one witness, to the Daily News. “His body was covered with flowers. I didn’t see him moving.”

The Times reports that the cyclist was struck when the driver tried to move the car back onto the street, while the Post says the cyclist was hit by a flying fire hydrant. The Times says the cyclist is in stable condition at Bellevue, and police told DNAinfo his injuries were “non-life threatening.” On his Twitter feed, NYT police reporter J. David Goodman said the cyclist is 30 years old.

DNAinfo had this eyewitness account:

“I saw him plowing through the trees,” said Diana Kirk, 42, who was sitting on her fire escape on East 4th Street and Second Avenue when she saw the white sedan “swerving.”

“He flew down the sidewalk,”she added, saying she saw the driver take out the Citi Bike rider. “There was blood everywhere. I saw his legs all bloodied.”

Though the cyclist got up, he immediately collapsed as if “in shock” she said.

Martin was charged with driving while intoxicated. DNAinfo reports that Martin has a prior DWI arrest, and that NYPD spokesperson Paul Browne said police found marijuana in Martin’s sock.

Initial reports said that, according to police, eight people were hurt, but NYPD said there were four victims, in addition to the driver. Police confirmed reports that there was a female passenger in the car. Photos from the scene indicate the vehicle was destroyed.

This crash occurred in the 9th Precinct, where officers issued 11 speeding tickets in all of 2012. To voice your concerns about neighborhood traffic safety directly to Deputy Inspector John G. Cappelmann, the commanding officer, go to the next precinct community council meeting. The 9th Precinct council meetings happen on the third Tuesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. at the precinct, 321 E. 5th Street. Call 212-477-7805 for information.

The City Council district where this crash occurred is represented by Rosie Mendez. Since March 2012, at least seven pedestrians and cyclists have been killed by motorists in Mendez’s district, including three people in 2013. To encourage Mendez to take action to improve street safety in her district and citywide, contact her at 212-677-1077 or @RosieMendez.

  • Anonymous

    So…given that the driver was intoxicated, this is in the class of cases where “criminality is suspected.” That means NYPD should be investigating the crash. NYPD’s official position is that it does not comment on active investigations, and it will refuse information to the victims of this crash. But some anonymous NYPD source is leaking information to contradict eyewitness accounts that the driver was racing another vehicle? Why does NYPD have an unofficial but consistently-applied policy of anonymously leaking exonerate-the-driver or blame the victim details, in violation of its stated policy to crash victims and their survivors that details concerning ongoing investigations can be shared?

  • Rhubarbpie

    Once again, a bicyclist gets in the way of a drunk driver and is injured. And here it’s on a bike from the city’s own program! When will the madness end?
    — New York Post editor (not yet written)

  • Rhubarbpie

    Once again, a bicyclist gets in the way of a drunk driver and is
    injured. And here it’s on a bike from the city’s own program! When will
    the madness end?
    — New York Post editorial (not yet written)

  • Daphna

    The 9th Precinct issued less than one speeding ticket a month throughout 2012. That kind of negligence by the NYPD and refusal to do their job when it comes to vehicular crime is endangering everyone. Mayor Bloomberg and Ray Kelly should be giving instructions to all Precinct commanders to correct their priorities immediately.

  • Anxiously Awaiting Bikeshare

    Shaun Martin, 32, of Queens, was charged with DWI when his white Nissan
    Altima lost control on Second Avenue between Fourth and Fifth streets
    and smashed into the East Village Grocery at 6:30 a.m., authorities said –NY Post Story

    I am glad his car is what lost control rather than Mr. Martin.

  • JK

    This is appalling. Agreed Steve, and do these statements from the NYPD commissioner’s office potentially bias field investigators? An astute investigator may not want to do things that contradict the word from the commissioner’s press people. Anyway, what is the benefit to the public of the commissioner’s press office blabbing about uncertain things so early in a crash investigation? As we’ve seen repeatedly in high profile crashes, DCPI often gets basic facts about the cause of a crash totally wrong. In the East Village crash, how does DCPI know there was no drag racing? Have they checked surveillance video already? How about they restrict themselves to things that have been thoroughly verified: people injured, time of crash, location? All and all, the press leaking and conviction/exoneration by press office is thoroughly unprofessional. It’s politically gossipy nonsense, and it undermines police claims to objectivity and thoroughness.

  • Anxiously Awaiting Bikeshare

    One would think there would be pretty overwhelming surveillance video evidence if another car was racing (i.e. there is a Bank of America on the opposite corner, I’d imagine they have cameras that saw something). If you look at the wording of the police statement, there were no other cars involved in the “crash.” This wording does not preclude that another car could have been involved in going 75 mph.

  • Our sidewalks are not safe. Even simple “small” injuries can change your life. My heart goes out to these people who are going to face lives with various injuries (so much harder than people think!!) and I hope no one gets worse and dies.

  • Mark Walker

    If I were a wagering man, I’d put the odds of something like this actually getting into the Post at better than 50 percent.

  • Daphna

    The Gothamist article has 8 pictures for anyone who wants to see more of the destruction Sean Martin did by driving on the sidewalk of 2nd Avenue from 5th Street to 4th Street.

    It is upsetting that media reports, even WNYC, keep reporting that the Nissan Altima did this or that, rather than that the driver, Sean Martin, did this destruction of people and property.

  • Anonymous

    “Martin also reportedly struck a fire hydrant, a street sign, a loaded bike rack, and a tree.”

    According to the photo, it looks like he also took out an entire traffic pole.

    Must have been traveling pretty fast…

  • Anonymous

    Glad nobody was killed, but this is scary. I wish Bloomberg would react to motor vehicle violence the same way he does to gun violence. If you’re not safe from this inside a store in the heart of Manhattan, then I guess you’re not really safe anywhere.

  • Mark Walker

    I am among New York’s car-free majority. Tonight I will watch this story on the evening news. There will also probably be a story on the mayoral race but with no connection between the two. They will be sandwiched between SUV ads which will get more air time than both stories combined. Even with the most pro-livable-streets mayor and DOT commissioner in history, and despite the heroic work of activists, the carnage continues virtually unchallenged — especially by the NYPD, which actively obstructs change, and refuses to serve the public that pays for its salaries and gold-plated benefits. The car-free majority is docile and pays to be tyrannized. The motorists, the reporters, the car advertisers, the police commissioner, the next mayor, and the next DOT commissioner are not afraid of us. Maybe they should be.

  • Guest

    When activists and concerned citizens try to make streets safer in the outer boroughs, they’re tainted as Manhattan and Brooklyn infiltrators, even if they live on the very block they’re trying to tame. But when a drunk from Bayside, Queens speeds through one of the most densely packed Manhattan neighborhoods around, hey, that’s his right as a New Yorker! Wouldn’t want to do anything like, say, congestion pricing, enforcement, or redesigning the streets to restrict his freedom, would we?

  • Mark Walker

    Bloomberg certainly could react more directly to these events in public. But to give him his due, he gave us JSK, and together they quietly gave us more pedestrian space, bike lanes, and street safety improvements than all their predecessors combined, practically reversing decades of malign neglect. The bad news is that they’ve done it by executive fiat — Mikey is good at building things, not so good at building consensus — and we may not be as fortunate with their successors. Not unless they identify the car-free majority as the primary source of their power.

  • Mark Walker
  • Docker

    Who needs the Post when the NY Times piece somehow mentions Citibike three times, including in the first sentence. Then, middle sentence: The car “smashed into the man who was riding a Citi Bike, part of New York City’s new ride share program,” Last sentence: “The battered blue Citi Bike lay several feet in front of the car.” What’s the takeaway? Is the Citi Bike dangerous or what?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/20/nyregion/several-badly-injured-after-car-jumps-curb-in-manhattan.html?ref=nyregion&_r=0

  • Anonymous

    They did give us pedestrian space, bike lanes, and street safety improvements. But it wasn’t done “quietly.”

  • Anxiously Awaiting Bikeshare

    Take note of what is happening on Water Street over the past 4 days, there is a lot of pedestrian space going in very quietly. The colors they are painting on the road are loud but there is no controversy.

  • Jesse

    don’t they mean the “battered blazing blue Citi Bike begrimed the street several feet in front of the car” ?

  • Daphna

    From the WSJ May 7th article about 12 blocks of Water Street slated for changes: “City officials….hope to rejuvenate its street life by creating pedestrian plazas, widening walkways and hosting markets or performance (June to January) in more than 20 privately owned courtyards that dot the area…..Water Street now has two traffic lanes both north and south. The DOT plans to shrink southbound travel to a single lane from Whitehall Street to as far north as Old Slip, allowing for wider walkways where vehicle traffic is lightest. The agency also will close two small streets – Gouverneur Lane and Coenties Slip – to vehicle traffic. It intends to plant new trees and install movable tables and chairs for the pedestrians….”
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323826804578468953201346388.html

    Also in the Real Deal NYC real estate news: http://therealdeal.com/blog/2013/05/08/city-envisions-more-pedestrian-friendly-water-street/

    It is gratifying that city officials and businesses are realizing that pedestrian friendly streets provide an economic boost to an area. It’s great they are advocating for pedestrian improvements as a way to revitalize a corridor negatively impacted by storm Sandy.

  • Ian Turner

    They are designed to snap off without too much force (so as not to damage vehicular occupants), you could probably knock one down at 10 MPH.

  • Texas reader

    Why is it that New York can’t do what Texas does? I.e. charge the driver with assault with a deadly weapon and throw him in jail?
    That is the standard police reaction here. Why not NYC?

  • Stacy Walsh Rosenstock

    We used to live on Second Ave near 4th where car versus car “accidents” were a common occurrence. We’d sit out on the window sill when the weather was good and sometimes witness up to four collisions per week. However, they were never this bad and rarely involved pedestrians. Obviously the driver should do serious jail time and never be allowed to drive again, but DOT should also take a look at traffic flow and find out why this strip is so dangerous.

  • Stacy Walsh Rosenstock

    We used to live on Second Ave near 4th where car versus car “accidents” were a common occurrence. We’d sit out on the window sill when the weather was good and sometimes witness up to four collisions per week. However, they were never this bad and rarely involved pedestrians. Obviously the driver should do serious jail time and never be allowed to drive again, but DOT should also take a look at traffic flow and find out why this strip is so dangerous.

  • Stacy Walsh Rosenstock

    We used to live on Second Ave near 4th where car versus car “accidents” were a common occurrence. We’d sit out on the window sill when the weather was good and sometimes witness up to four collisions per week. However, they were never this bad and rarely involved pedestrians. Obviously the driver should do serious jail time and never be allowed to drive again, but DOT should also take a look at traffic flow and find out why this strip is so dangerous.

  • Stacy Walsh Rosenstock

    We used to live on Second Ave near 4th where car versus car “accidents” were a common occurrence. We’d sit out on the window sill when the weather was good and sometimes witness up to four collisions per week. However, they were never this bad and rarely involved pedestrians. Obviously the driver should do serious jail time and never be allowed to drive again, but DOT should also take a look at traffic flow and find out why this strip is so dangerous.

  • Stacy Walsh Rosenstock

    We used to live on Second Ave near 4th where car versus car “accidents” were a common occurrence. We’d sit out on the window sill when the weather was good and sometimes witness up to four collisions per week. However, they were never this bad and rarely involved pedestrians. Obviously the driver should do serious jail time and never be allowed to drive again, but DOT should also take a look at traffic flow and find out why this strip is so dangerous.

  • Brad Aaron

    How much time do you have?

  • Joe R.

    I’m sure the police and the media will find some way to blame this all on the cyclist.

    On another note, if motor vehicles were limited by law to sane power-to-weight ratios, there’s no way this idiot would have been able to get up to 75 mph in the space available.

  • Texas reader

    🙂

    I have been reading streetsblog for a while now, and do understand that there is a deep political problem with NYPD.

    But really, they are BEHIND Texas in law enforcement, isn’t that just a tad embarrassing? (Texas is behind on a number of things, but tolerating killers in cars is not on that list.)

  • Joe R.

    The irony here is if Bloomberg reacted to motor vehicle violence the same as he does to gun violence virtually nobody would be allowed to drive. Look how hard it is to get carry permits in NYC. Actually, it’s close to impossible unless you’re politically connected. I know people who have been trying for years. And yet this does little to deter those who use guns in crimes. Last I checked, nobody who had a carry permit killed somebody on NYC streets, yet plenty of licensed drivers do exactly that. It’s really time to rethink both the licensing process, as well as where you’re allowed to drive. Just because a person may need a car in Long Island or NJ or Bayside doesn’t necessarily mean they need to drive in Manhattan. And it certainly doesn’t mean they know how to deal with driving in an urban environment. Maybe NYC should have its own licensing add-on. Once you get a NY state driver’s license (or a license from any other state), you must pass a much more difficult series of tests in order to be allowed to drive within NYC limits. If we’re going to overregulate guns (which incidentally rarely kill innocent people when in the hands of licensed gun owners), then we should do the same for motor vehicles. And if we’re going to put nilly willy bans on the types of guns people can own, including the ridiculous limits on magazine size, perhaps we should also ban ownership or use of overpowered vehicles in urban areas.

  • Ian Turner

    Does little to deter use of guns in crimes? NYC has the lowest violent crime rate of any big city in the US. (Vehicular crime is another issue…)

  • Joe R.

    Texas actually has a more balanced view of many things than NYC. It’s relatively easy to own and carry guns there, and studies have shown that legal gun owners rarely use them to commit crimes. NYC severely restricts law-abiding citizens from owning guns, yet freely allows people to drive motor vehicles which are just as dangerous. And the police repeatedly refuse to charge drivers when they kill or injure people.

  • Brad Aaron

    New York is behind many states when it comes to traffic law.

    The system is rotten from top to bottom, from the state legislature (weak laws) to the courts (judges and juries favor drivers over victims) to the DAs (don’t bother to prosecute) to the cops (could not care less).

    That’s the problem, in a nutshell.

  • Joe R.

    I don’t know if the low crime rate is a factor of strict gun control laws or other socioeconomic factors. One theory is the leaded gasoline used until the 1970s was responsible for a spike in violent crime which lasted into the late 1990s. Remember NYC has had strict gun control laws for decades, and yet these did nothing to deter violent criminals in the 1970s through 1990s. One year we had over 2000 murders, many of them with illegal guns. Now we’re down to about 500 (not counting vehicular homicides which are out of control).

  • Ian Dutton

    Glad to see the Ninth Precinct has taken this so seriously to already be cracking down. On bicyclists. The NYPD continues to refuse to take the safety of you and your family seriously.

    Cop “Hunting” Cyclists: “You Shouldn’t Even Be Riding A Bike In New York”
    http://gothamist.com/2013/06/19/cop_hunting_cyclists_you_shouldnt_e.php

  • Joe R.

    One of the commentators in the article mentioned the same thing as my brother. Basically, it’s that Bloomberg installed bike lanes and encouraged cycling not as a favor to cyclists, but to get another revenue stream for the city from ticketing cyclists. I honestly think there might be some validity to this theory. In practice, it may not work long term because cycling is an optional activity. If people see there’s a good chance of getting tickets when riding, many will just give it up.

  • Anonymous

    Why does nobody challenge the 75mph quoted figure. Where did that come from? Seems like only the driver would know how fast they were going. Claiming they were speeding, yes. 75mph, prove it. Also, the NYPD didn’t dispute racing. It only said one vehicle crashed. That statement is not at odds with investigating whether racing was occurring.

  • Driver

    It’s a rental car. It probably has gps and a record of the data.

    An expert at accident reconstructions could give a fairly good estimate judging from the extent of the damage.

  • it may not work long term because cycling is an optional activity

    So is parking illegally and no amount of tickets seems to slow that down…

  • Guest

    No ticket for driving on the sidewalk?
    I guess those only apply to bikes…

  • Ian Turner

    I was not comparing NYC now to NYC in the past, but to other cities in America now. As I said, we’re at the bottom when it comes to big city violent crime league tables.

  • Anonymous

    It is certainly possible to estimate the speed using a variety of methods. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if the numbers quoted by the media on the day of the crash were wild guesses pulled out of someone’s ass, before anyone had time to look at the evidence. Just like reports of the same crash by different media outlets often disagree on the location of the crash, direction of the vehicles, and the number of victims.

  • Anonymous

    It is certainly possible to estimate the speed using a variety of methods. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if the numbers quoted by the media on the day of the crash were wild guesses pulled out of someone’s ass, before anyone had time to look at the evidence. Just like reports of the same crash by different media outlets often disagree on the location of the crash, direction of the vehicles, and the number of victims.

  • Bolwerk

    Eh, crime stats bear out Texas having much higher rates of gun crimes. Albeit, perhaps slightly lower gun murder rates at least some years – the brutes there seem to opt for more vicious ways to murder people!

  • Stacy Walsh Rosenstock

    Another side benefit to the bicycle infrastructure is the City got to displace those unsightly shantytowns that housed the homeless along the river.

  • In their defense, if we had them actually policing traffic, where would they find the time to indiscriminately stop & frisk minorities?

  • Bazooka

    I’ve seen car hit person, car hit person on bicycle, and a dog killed by a car all at 2nd Ave & 4th street. Cursed corner?!

  • There is an accident recorder that holds between 5 and 10 seconds of data that gets nailed down when the airbags deploy. Included in the data is the speed of the vehicle and engine (so they can figure out which gear it was in if the gear shift or transmission sensor was damaged prior to the wreck).

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