GRAMERCY PARK, Manhattan (PIX11) – The victim killed by an alleged drunk driver in New York City on Sunday had just moved to America from Turkey in search of a better life, according to those who knew him.
Abdulhekim Esiyok, 23, was struck and killed by a car while crossing Third Avenue at East 21st Street in Manhattan’s Gramercy Park neighborhood around 7:30 p.m., authorities said.
The driver was allegedly speeding up Third Avenue when he hit Esiyok and crashed onto the sidewalk, according to police. Four other people were injured in the crash.
The alleged driver, 26-year-old Mahbub Ali of Queens, was arrested and charged with manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, driving while intoxicated and assault, officials said.
The crash happened near a temporary migrant shelter in Gramercy Park where Esiyok had been staying.
“[Esiyok] was here for about a month, staying here at the shelter. He had gotten a job about two weeks ago as a delivery bicyclist,” said George Colli, a spokesperson for the victim’s family. “His family said that he came here and that his dream was simply to be able to work hard and take care of his family.”
Esiyok was a “humble friend” and a “beloved” member of the community, according to a GoFundMe raising money for his family.
“Your donations, by the permission of Allah, will be used to transport Abdulhekim to his family and provide them with financial support,” the GoFundMe said. “As a faithful community, let us stand together during this challenging time and help alleviate the family’s pain and offer them comfort.”