A Bronx native recently purposefully plowed his Honda through pedestrians in Times Square while driving at high speed. One person was killed and twenty-two people were reported injured. The driver started his rampage at 7th Avenue and 42nd Street, where he turned his vehicle from the street and took to the sidewalk in an apparent attempt at killing innocent people. He purposefully targeted people who tried to flee as he drove under scaffolding and over and past objects that ripped his mirrors and bumper stickers off.
His ride of terror came to an end when he crashed into a pole at Broadway and 45th Street, having driven 3.5 blocks on one of the busiest stretches of sidewalk in all of New York State. (Another source claimed the catastrophe ended after the driver crashed into a barrier in front of the Marriott Marquis Hotel.) Times Square is known all over the world as a tourist destination, even as New Yorkers try to avoid it due to its insane level of pedestrian and car traffic. The one woman killed was visiting from another state with her younger sister, who survived but faces serious injuries. This all took place around noon on a sunny day.
When the driver got out of his mangled car, he tried to run away. Bystanders and traffic cops grabbed and held him, until the police could apprehend him. He then tried to punch an officer. He was said to have been babbling and delusional: He claimed to have been hearing voices. According to reports, he is said to have been facing mental health issues since childhood, which seemed to have increased once he returned home from his stint in the Navy. He was under the influence of alcohol and was apparently smoking marijuana laced with PCP, or angel dust. This drug has been known for decades to make people delusional and even psychotic.
Aftermath of the Crash
What can we say about this tragic event from a legal standpoint? The perpetrator is facing one count of manslaughter, twenty counts of attempted murder, and five counts of aggravated vehicular homicide. He had two prior DWIs, and as a result, it’s rumored that a device was installed on his car to prevent him from speeding. Not many days before this terrible incident, he had grabbed a notary by the neck and accused him of trying to steal his identity, which was in keeping with the paranoid anti-government rants his friends had endured. That particular incident saw him charged with criminal possession of a weapon and menacing, but he pleaded guilty to harassment. Back when he was in the Navy, he had refused to pay a fare and beat a taxi driver.
While this driver will be facing multiple criminal charges, personal injury cases will doubtless be involved as well. He can face drunk and drugged driving charges, charges for hitting pedestrians, and bills for property damage and emotional trauma. There are likely scores of other damages resulting from his hideous actions in this crash.
The Law on Your Side
Anytime someone hurts someone else due to negligence or any other type of bad behavior, there is likely a personal injury case to be had, which is entirely different than the criminal charges someone can face. If you think you have a personal injury case, you can call us for a free consultation at 1-800-VICTIM-2 (842-8462) or simply complete the contact form on this page. Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP: Don’t be a victim twice.