INWOOD, Manhattan (PIX11) — A community is in mourning after an apparent high-speed crash killed two pedestrians who just happened to be standing on the corner where the collision took place. The two men, David Fernandez, 40, and Joel Adames, 31, were well-known and beloved in the Inwood community, as well as in the Caribbean and South Florida, where they had family ties.
At the intersection of 207th Street and Sherman Avenue, a memorial of candles, flowers and photographs of the men started forming at sunrise on Wednesday, an hour or so after the crash.
Five cars were either totaled or damaged after a Subaru driving west on 207th Street was t-boned when a BMW driving north on Sherman Avenue apparently ran a red light and t-boned the Subaru, according to the NYPD. Surveillance camera footage supports their account.
The impact threw the Subaru onto the sidewalk, where Fernandez and Adames happened to be waiting to cross the street.
“They were just standing there, and the cars [were] just jumping the sidewalk,” said a woman who said that she was Adames’ cousin.
Both men were well known here in Inwood.
“He was just an amazing person,” said Jolemy Clasé, a lifelong friend of Fernandez. “The community loved him.”
One of Adames’ relatives described him as beloved.
“He was my little cousin, he was a sweetheart. He was the love of the family,” she said.
Fernandez was known by a different name, both in the neighborhood, and on an international stage.
“‘David the Dancer,'” said Clasé, “that’s what he was known for.”
David Fernandez was a salsa instructor, and winner of many international salsa competitions. He was also a well-known barber, and counted among his clients a list of celebrities like DJ Baby Face and guitarist Max Santos.
Also, as Robert Gomez, another cousin of Adames said, Fernandez would cut and style the hair of anyone who’d ask.
“You call him at 2 a.m., he’d stay open just for you,” Gomez said. “That’s literally what happen[ed].”
Fernandez had done a late night cut for Adames, and then went with him for a drink, according to witnesses. At 4 a.m., when they were headed home, the collision took their lives.
On Wednesday afternoon, the rapper and songwriter Cardi B memorialized Adames in a social media post.
“Stupidness, negligence, I hope the worst to who committed this!” the superstar wrote. “Took someone sooo loved, full of life and just all around amazing leaving people destroy.. RIP JOEL.”
Police said that the people in the two cars that had collided survived the crash with no serious injuries.
An investigation is still underway.