Friday, September 6, 2013

Cab crash & smash

By Daniel Prendergast, Aaron Feis and Natalie O'Neill

A taxi collided with an SUV in Midtown yesterday — toppling a scaffolding structure and injuring four people, sources said.
The yellow cab and Nissan Pathfinder collided at the intersection of East 42nd Street and First Avenue at 3 p.m., sending chunks of wood and glass flying at people on the sidewalk, Fire Department sources and witnesses said.
“I heard glass shaking and a big bang. I’m a little bit shaken up,” said Femke van Schoonhoven, 21, a tourist from New Zealand, who saw the crash drama unfold.
“‎They just collided in the middle of the intersection. I was just standing there. I didn’t know what to do,” van Schoonhoven said.
The cabdriver — who was later spotted lying next to his vehicle, bleeding — was the most seriously injured, FDNY sources said.
The other people involved, including the cabby’s passenger, a pedestrian and the Nissan’s driver, suffered only minor injuries, the sources said.
Police sources said it was not immediately clear who was at fault, and witnesses weren’t quite sure, either.
One passer-by said it looked as if the Nissan had been speeding.
“I was just showing my friends from France around . . . I was showing them the United Nations,” said Patricia Tan, of ‎Phillipsburg, NJ, who witnessed the crash.
But then, she said, she saw the dark-colored SUV going too fast.
“I heard a big bang, like a very loud noise,” she said.
That’s when she saw the cabby, whom she described as “tan,” on the ground.
“He was bleeding a lot. He was lying face-down. He was bleeding all over,” she said.
The collision came two weeks after a taxi plowed into a British tourist on Sixth Avenue near Radio City Music Hall.
In that case, driver Faysal Kabir Mohammad Himon of Queens had been arguing with a bicyclist when he lost control of the taxi and jumped a curb.
His cab struck 23-year-old Sian Green — severing her left foot — at West 49th Street and Sixth Avenue.
He was later issued a summons for being an unauthorized driver.
In yesterday’s crash, none of the injuries was life-threatening, sources said.
All four people were transported to hospitals.
Officials did not immediately release the names of the drivers involved, and no charges had been filed at press time.
A police source said the driver of the Nissan might have been an off-duty NYPD officer.
The front passenger side of the cab was damaged. The front of the SUV was also dented.
But most of the damage was done to the scaffolding, sources said.
Witnesses at first thought a bicyclist was injured, but they later learned he played no role in causing the crash, sources said.
He was spotted walking away from the scene with a mangled bike.
The investigation is ongoing.
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