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

1:18 PM EDT on August 20, 2013

Photo: ##

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, or @DanGarodnick.

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