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Cabbie Blames Cyclist He Hit and Bike Lanes for Midtown Curb-Jump Crash

11:48 AM EDT on August 22, 2013

The Post is doing its best to assign partial blame to the cyclist who was struck by cab driver Mohammed Himon in Tuesday morning's crash on Sixth Avenue, but the paper got Himon to confess that he intentionally stepped on the gas before mounting the curb and hitting Sian Green, the 23-year-old tourist who lost part of her leg.

Himon has a history of reckless driving, according to multiple reports, including another crash that resulted in injury. During an interview in which he said he needs to find a different job, Himon described the crash:

Himon, a native of Bangladesh who has been in the United States for nearly five years, admitted he flew into a fit of road rage when he and bike messenger Kenneth Olivo crossed paths.

"He was in my way and I got upset, so I gave him notice that I wanted to pass through," he said, meaning he leaned on his horn.

"He started pounding on my car with his hands and was yelling things at me. I suddenly felt like I had to get out of there. It was becoming a bad situation. So I accelerated to get in front of him."

Himon's narrative, which the Post does not question, is that after laying on the horn, he became afraid of the cyclist and attempted to get away.

"I personally feel that if that man on the bike didn’t bang on my car, maybe this would not have happened,” Himon said. "I didn’t yell at him. I had my windows up and my A/C on. I could barely hear what he was saying.

"I thought to myself, ‘This guy isn’t any good. I need to speed up to get away from him.’ I accelerated, and the rest is hard to remember."

So according to Himon, he was so frightened by a cyclist in front of his cab, whom he could barely hear, that he hit the accelerator. As a result of that decision, he rammed the cyclist and continued driving onto the sidewalk, permanently maiming Green.

The Post doesn't bring this up, but if Himon was trying to turn left, there would have been a crosswalk full of pedestrians "in his way" just behind the cyclist. “We were crossing right in the middle of the crosswalk -- we had the crossing signal -- and as we were crossing with other pedestrians, the cab started to pull into the crosswalk,” said one witness to Fox News. "[There] was a man riding along this way on his bicycle with a backpack and he got picked up by the cabbie and was thrown up on the hood and up on his windshield. The cab really accelerated at a great speed."

Still, according to the Post, at least, Olivo could be charged. "Authorities blamed the accident on a road-rage beef between a cabby with a checkered driving record and a bicycle messenger with a lengthy rap sheet," the Post wrote, in a story about Green and her family. A possible charge is criminal mischief, according to attorney Steve Vaccaro.

Himon also claimed that the bikes lanes the Bloomberg administration installed in recent years contributed to the crash.

"A lot of bikers disregard the bike lanes and drive wherever they want," he griped.

"The city wastes a lot of money by giving them all these bike lanes, and for what? Honestly, I have no problem with bikers. They should just stay in their lane and I’ll stay in mine."

The Post is probably delighted to print his ignorant views on bike infrastructure, but a protected bike lane on the left side of Sixth Avenue might have meant Himon would have been stopped by a bell bollard after a few feet, and Sian Green might still be enjoying her first trip to New York.

Unlike thousands of non-fatal incidents of vehicular violence that happen every year and don't get international attention, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance and NYPD are investigating this crash. The Taxi and Limousine Commission is moving to suspend Himon's hack license for 30 days.

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