(LONG ISLAND CITY) - The week got off to a deadly start in the Long Island City section of Queens, “It was pretty crazy,” said one student in the aftermath of a wreck that injured four and killed one.
The scene across the street of LaGuardia Community College was littered with a downed light pole, a headlight on the ground, a smashed out windshield, and a maroon Dodge Caravan jammed against a tree.
“Boom! I turn back, and I see like two people fly,” said Mahmoud whose food cart was yards away from the morning accident.
Aziz another food cart vendor at the end of the block recalled how, “The car, he’s coming quick and it jumped the curb. I saw him hit, like three or four people.”
An NYPD officer informed PIX 11 News that the driver was traveling in excess of 35 mph when it jumped the curb in the vicinity of Thomson Avenue and 30th Street. The min-van with North Carolina plates careened into five individuals, killing 16-year-old Drudak Tenzin who was dead on arrival at Elmhurst Hospital. The driver, who NYPD sources say is attributing the wreck to spilled milk, began to apologize immediately to his victims according to Rami Shehatta, ”He get out from the car and say, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, that’s it. But he was ok.”
Shehatta adding that the victims never had a chance, ”We didn’t hear any brakes. No noise for the breaks.”
As traffic backed-up around the area, the NYPD shut down all lanes of west bound traffic for several blocks. The driver remained at the scene throughout the early stages of the investigation. Sources say that driver is telling the NYPD he lost control of the vehicle because he allegedly spilled milk.
A PIX 11 News camera did capture the driver cooperating with investigators, even taking a breathalyzer at one point. Then approximately two hours after the accident the driver was slapped with cuffs.
An NYPD official saying that he was not technically arrested, but rather just being detained. He was taken to the 108th precinct for further questioning and for background examination to ensure that he had no outstanding warrants.