UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan — Police have released a surveillance photo of a black sedan believed to be responsible for a hit-and-run on the Upper West Side that sent four people to the hospital Monday.
The picture is of a 1999 black Honda Accord seen fleeing the scene moments after the crash. The car has Pennsylvania plates KCN-0713. Authorities are continuing their search for the suspect.
On Monday around 4:30 p.m. the suspect vehicle crashed into a taxi cab, setting off a chain reaction accident at the intersection of 62nd Street and Broadway.
The taxi jumped the curb, slamming into a Halal food cart, causing it to crash into a parked Con Edison van. It turned into a chaotic scene with people scrambling during the busy rush hour.
The cabbie had just picked up several passengers. He says the Honda came out of nowhere and he had no warning before the force of impact.
“He hit one time then I hit brake then he hit me again and I lost control,” said Michael Pervaz.
According to the NYPD, four people were rushed to the hospital, including a 39-year-old woman who nearly severed her arm when the food cart fell on her. She remains in critical condition as of Tuesday night.
Also injured, the 23-year-old food cart operator, identified by friends as Ilhajjam Hamid.
His friend and fellow food cart operator, Mohamed Hathout, says he was the one who dragged his injured friend out from the food cart right after the accident.
“That’s my friend, every day I see him and yesterday I see him with the blood from here and neck here and shoulder and leg too,” said Hathout.
Hathout says his friend is doing better but is still in the hospital.
Hathout was back at work Tuesday, with his hot dog stand, at the same corner. But he admits yesterday’s accident was traumatizing.
“I can’t sleep from yesterday. I can’t stay here all day more headache for me, more stress for me,” said Hathout.
As police continue their hunt for the hit-and-run driver, PIX11 looked into that intersection.
City records since 2012 show 62nd Street and Broadway, has had it’s problems in the past. There have been nearly three dozen accidents at the intersection since 2012.
Including yesterday’s crash, there have now been 12 pedestrians struck and 15 taxi cab involved accidents there since 2012.
One woman pushing a baby carriage as she carefully crossed the street told PIX11 “I think it’s dangerous, yeah very dangerous.”
Another area resident told us it’s the entire stretch between Lincoln Center and Columbus Circle that has become dangerous.
“Because they changed the traffic patterns, they’re giving the drivers the right of way, then they give pedestrians the walk but no one is paying attention to that.”
After Monday’s accident and the ongoing focus on the “Vision Zero” campaign, people PIX11 spoke with Tuesday said they will be more careful when crossing the street.
“I will be much more alert and look in all directions before crossing, even if you have the light.”