TLC: Driver Who Hit Children on Bronx Sidewalk Works for Uber [Updated]

Warning: Graphic video

Updates below

The livery cab driver who sped onto a sidewalk and injured a woman and several children this morning in the Bronx was driving a vehicle affiliated with an Uber base, according to the Taxi and Limousine Commission.

TLC spokesperson Allan Fromberg said the cab operates from Uber’s Schmecken hub. Fromberg said the driver has held a TLC for-hire vehicle license since 1998.

The driver’s name has been shielded by the TLC and NYPD. The Post reported that he is 57 years old.

Video of the crash, published by the Post, shows a group of kids standing next to a building at 229 E. Kingsbridge Road when the car, a Toyota Camry, enters the frame at high speed, running them over.

The driver told police he “lost control” of the cab, according to the Post. NYPD used the same language to describe the crash to Streetsblog this morning.

Three of the victims were a 33-year-old woman and her two kids. Two other children were also hurt. Injuries to the children included broken legs, head trauma, and chest trauma, the Post reported. FDNY said two of the children were hospitalized in critical condition.

Police had filed no charges or issued no summonses as of this afternoon. Unless the driver is convicted of a crime or traffic violation he will in all likelihood remain in good standing with the TLC.

Drivers working for Uber or driving Uber-affiliated vehicles have killed at least two New York City pedestrians this year, including a 12-year-old boy who was hit in a school zone. A lawsuit stemming from one of the crashes claims the driver was distracted by Uber software. Speed was reportedly a factor in both collisions.

We have a message in with Uber for further details on the driver and the crash.

Update: Uber says the driver was not using the company’s platform today and has been suspended from Uber pending an investigation. Like NYPD and TLC, Uber did not release the driver’s name. “Our thoughts are with the victims of this tragic accident and we are assisting the City with its investigation,” the company said in a statement.

Update: TLC says it has suspended the driver pending the outcome of the NYPD investigation.

  • Eric McClure

    In which case the cops would definite suspect criminality.

  • Eric McClure

    How about a car commercial in which the driver avoids getting his car damaged by driving responsibly and not jumping the curb and having it dented by the bodies of the innocent pedestrians he’s running over.

  • Eric McClure

    Uber, not Uber. It doesn’t matter. I was in a cab a couple weeks ago for the first time in several years (an outer-borough green taxi) and the driver had so many distraction devices (aka technology) that I was glad it was only for a few blocks.

  • Joe R.

    The sad part is there are quite a few cars out there which can reach 100 mph in a few city blocks (and 60+ mph in less than a block). We could make great headway solving speeding and aggressive driving issues by just mandating some sort of lockout on urban streets which limits power-to-weight ratios to under 10 HP/ton. When you go on a highway the lockout would be disabled, giving you full power for merging. I picked 10 HP/ton because it’s about what a strong cyclist can briefly manage. That’s good enough to keep up with typical urban traffic flow.

  • PumpToDump

    I suggest you read this blog and you’ll have a better understanding of Uber.

  • D’BlahZero

    Sadly the only things ‘surprising’ to me about this incident are that

    1) the driver didn’t invoke the ‘medical emergency’ excuse. That’s seems to be the real trump card. He may yet get caught up with this ‘lost control’ BS.

    2) I’ve not seen anyone blame the kids for wearing headphones or looking at their phones.

    Even the silence from our Vision Zero mayor, while painfully disappointing, is not a surprise.

  • J

    But de Blasio gave us a 25mph speed limit, so there’s really nothing more he can do, right? (sarcasm)

  • J

    Indeed, De Blasio mainly pays lip service to Vision Zero, and only when he’s forced to. He seems quite content to rest on his (unenforced) 25mph speed limit. I won’t be sad to see him go.

  • anon

    If any of those kids rode a bicycle on the sidewalk they would get a summons and if they didn’t have ID they would be arrested. Doesn’t driving on the sidewalk at least deserve a summons? Is there a crime for grossly negligent assault?

  • WalkingNPR

    The only reason I could think he didn’t pull the “medical emergency” card (which I agree, is usually the ultimate trump card) is that, as a TLC driver, he might risk his license more by suggesting he had a medical condition affecting his ability to drive. Not like anyone’s going to actually look into the mechanical issue, so as long as it’s “no criminality suspected,” he bettered his chances of getting right back to driving by blaming the car rather than his health.

  • WalkingNPR

    Why thank you, UberBot! We probably would never have thought to read the company website without you.

    However, I will take it upon myself to suggest some complimentary reading:

  • Alex

    We have to press Uber hard on how long the driver’s previous shift was. The worst thing about Uber is that they market themselves as a full time job for easy money (1,076/wk) and yet they continue hiring more and more drivers and fight any regulation. I’ve linked their current craigslist ad below. They used to promise 60K in 6 months…..

  • Michael

    And he wasn’t driving for them…

  • datbeezy

    you think something about Uber caused this? It wouldn’t have happened if the driver were driving a yellow cab? C’mon, we’re aren’t kindergartners – show your readers some respect.

  • Ken

    Of course not. Once he drops off a fare, he’s “not working for them” until he picks up another fare. Very clever, eh?

  • Alex

    That’s why I want to know how long his previous shift had been. If he was coming off an 18 hour shift, that would be a red flag.
    The point is that if you want to hack for Uber 40 hours a week you’d have to make about 27/hr to get to what they promise, which would be about a ride and a half per hour. The more drivers there are the less each one makes, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the full-timers are pulling marathon shifts to get what they were promised.

  • Ken

    I can’t say for new cars but the cars I’ve had (and worked on) all had a brake light switch mounted on the pedal, so when you pressed the pedal you activated the brake lights even if you had no actual brakes to stop with.

  • You impute to Streetsblog some sort of value judgment about Uber vs. yellow cabs on the basis of this post, but there is no such judgment in the post. Yeah, the headline is about the driver working for Uber. That’s because Uber is its own thing, with a safety record that should be tracked.

    Driving for Uber is different than driving a yellow cab. Not only the hailing process, but also the incentives. Is one inherently safer than the other? I don’t know and this post makes no claims. But Uber deserves scrutiny the same as any other major player in our transportation system, and noting when one of their drivers causes a crash isn’t the partisan attack you make it out to be.

  • Michael

    They may be. But I think the more likely scenario is that the city provided a really unsafe street, Uber or gypsy or taxi.

  • Alex

    No doubt about that. But the length of cabbie shifts and the extent to which app-based drivers moonlight needs to be looked at as a worker protection issue as well as a public safety issue. In an industry in flux with a flood of drivers, they ALL need to drive longer hours to make ends meet. He’ll never say it, but it does rather look like he fell asleep.

  • neroden

    Mechanical issues are very rare and usually due to negligent maintenance. The burdn of proof is on someone claiming a mechanical issue. NYPD doesn’t care about thefacts or the law,though,do they?

  • Jeffrey White

    Your analysis of the headline is naive and doesn’t pass the sniff test. Get to know the author. He made plain his feelings in the comment just above, lumping this crash into a context of “Uber carnage” despite no evidence this driver was using the app the day he crashed, or that “Uber carnage” is in any way a meaningful or useful subset of “taxi carnage,” all of which is regulated under the aucpices of the T&LC, which he inexplicably fails to mention in the headline.

  • Jeffrey White

    Well you’ve just outed yourself, haven’t you?

  • datbeezy

    I absolutely impute a “value judgement”, what reasonable person wouldn’t?

  • Brad Aaron

    We report on cab crashes all the time, most of them not involving Uber. Look it up.

    In this case the driver works for Uber. A fact not in dispute. We reported what happened and what Uber had to say.

    I assume you’re taking this up with the Post, the Daily News, DNAinfo, Gothamist, and the Daily Mail, since they also reported the Uber detail. And any other outlet that ever notes when an Uber driver is involved in a crash.

    Otherwise you’re trolling.

  • datbeezy

    If you want to lump yourself in with the Post, that’s up to you, the shoe fits better and better every day. Personally, I think their standards are garbage, and i’m insulted that you guys would try to claim this is a just the facts – “no value judgement” comment when anyone with a working brain can see otherwise. Just be honest. (a request I wouldn’t make, or even expect, from those other publications you listed)

  • What do you see as the motivation behind Streetsblog’s “dig” at Uber?

  • masaldinle

    Thanks! useful websites for kids.

  • Bilal Azeem

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