Lyft car and other vehicles crash on Second Avenue

June6 accident1

Vehicle collision at Second Avenue and 14th Street (Photos by Jefferson Siegel)

By Jefferson Siegel

Just after 7 pm Tuesday, the quiet early-evening atmosphere at 2nd Avenue and 14th Street was shattered by a loud metal-crunching explosion when three app-driven car service vehicles collided.

The crash was followed by screams as people rushed to find a Lyft driver trapped in his car and a cyclist on the curb. The driver appeared to be unconscious as he sat motionless, his body surrounded by front and side air bags. The driver-side door had been smashed by a mini-van which blocked anyone from reaching the driver. Firefighters arrived within minutes and tried smashing the passenger-side window to reach the driver. They were able to enter the car from the rear door and place a neck brace on the driver.

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Driver injured after losing control of cab in Stuyvesant Town

The damaged taxi was moved onto the 14th Street Loop Road. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Sabina Mollot

A cab driver was injured after losing control of her vehicle in Stuyvesant Town on Tuesday.

The cab ended up on the lawn outside 521 East 14th Street after it took down about two car lengths of the chicken wire fence along the grass outside the building.

The driver was taken to Bellevue Hospital in serious condition after the accident was reported at 11:30 a.m., according to the FDNY. The department didn’t have details on the nature of the victim’s injuries.

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Kips Bay man, 83, dies after being hit by car

Mar8 343 E 30th

343 East 30th Street (Photo via Google Maps)

By Sabina Mollot

On Thursday, an elderly Kips Bay man died after being hit by a car as he crossed the street a day earlier.

The victim, later identified as Gilberto DiBernardo, 83, had been crossing the street Wednesday afternoon on Second Avenue and East 30th Street when he was struck by a driver in a Chevrolet Silverado. DiBernardo, who lived nearby at 343 East 30th Street, was taken to Bellevue Hospital.

According to police, the 53-year-old driver, who was going south, had a steady green traffic signal when DiBernardo was attempting to cross Second Avenue from east to west in the crosswalk. The driver told police he tried to stop the car from hitting DiBernardo, but was unable to do so, and he was knocked to the pavement. The driver remained at the scene and wasn’t arrested. Police later said no criminality is suspected.

Driver plows into cars, synagogue on East 20th Street

The jeep crashed through the building's front gate. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

The jeep crashed through the building’s front gate. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A woman seemingly lost control of her jeep and crashed it into the front gate of the Chabad of Gramercy Park synagogue on Wednesday evening.

Minor injuries were reported after the accident, which happened on East 20th Street near First Avenue at 5 p.m.

At least six cars were damaged as a result, with one bystander describing the accident as a “domino effect.”

Andres Gomes, whose vehicle was damaged, said that the incident was confusing because the driver who set off the chain reaction appeared to be driving erratically, pulling her vehicle forward, then putting it in reverse before driving forward again, hitting multiple cars with each change of direction, before she backed into the gate.

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Man arrested after crashing taxi, injuring other driver on 1st Ave.

Ilir Kuka was arrested after allegedly driving off in the cab he’d been riding in, going the wrong direction and hitting a minivan. (Pictured) Emergency responders at the scene (Photo by Steve Kaufman)

Ilir Kuka was arrested after allegedly driving off in the cab he’d been riding in, going the wrong direction and hitting a minivan. (Pictured) Emergency responders at the scene (Photo by Steve Kaufman)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested 25-year-old Ilir Kuka for crashing a taxi into a minivan in front of Stuyvesant Town, injuring the mini-van’s driver. Kuka was not a cabbie, but allegedly drove off in the cab he’d been riding in after getting into an argument with the driver, only to go in the wrong direction, causing the accident.

The driver said he’d picked Kuka up in his taxi last Tuesday on Third Avenue between East 10th and 11th Streets around 10:30 p.m. Not long after the driver picked him up, they began to argue, and both men got out of the car. When the driver got out, he left the keys in the ignition and Kuka then allegedly got into the cab and drove away.

The driver said that Kuka drove north on Third Avenue towards East 14th Street, allegedly hitting a woman’s car on the passenger’s side just south of East 14th, causing a large dent. The woman said that he continued driving and she saw him turn right from Third Avenue onto East 15th Street, traveling in the wrong direction on the road.

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Man arrested for fatal hit-and-run on FDR Drive

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police have arrested a man for allegedly leaving the scene after a hit-and-run on the FDR Drive that killed Anthony Pham, a 29-year-old San Francisco resident.

Mirsad Dzaferovic, 34, was collared on Saturday morning for the accident that occurred a day earlier, in the early morning, on the northbound side of the FDR near East 28th Street. The FDNY received a call around 12:35 a.m. and police responded to the scene at about 1:05 a.m.

When they got there, officers discovered Pham lying in the roadway with head trauma. Dzaferovic had allegedly left the scene without waiting for police and allegedly continued to drive north on the FDR. Pham was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police tracked down Dzaferovic through vehicle parts, including a mirror and door handle with grey paint, that were scattered in the street close to the victim. A check on the serial number of the parts showed that they were from a Toyota Camry and police recovered a car matching that description that was also missing a side mirror and door handle that was registered to Dzaferovic.

The suspect allegedly told police that he was driving that car at the date, time and location of the crash.

A preliminary investigation found that the victim was either standing on the FDR or attempting to cross the highway when he was hit by the car, but no further information about how he got into the roadway was available.

Letters to the Editor, Mar. 26

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Two sides to every cyclist/driver dispute

To the Editor,

I was disappointed that you reported “Cyclist wanted for assault” (Police Watch, T&V, March 19) without adding quotation marks around “Assault,” to indicate that the person has only been alleged to have committed a crime.

The article itself made it clear that the automobile driver’s claims were prima facie preposterous:  “A 54-year-old man was in his car when he was cut off by a bicyclist,” you reported. The average car weighs 4,000 pounds. The average bike weighs 20 pounds. How can it be that the driver can legitimately claim he was cut off by a bicyclist?

More appropriately, your article could have said the driver “claimed he had been cut off by a bicyclist.”

More likely, what happened was that the driver of the car was passing too close to the cyclist, or otherwise driving in a reckless fashion.  Words were exchanged, and the driver likely threatened the cyclist with bodily harm. Whether or not the cyclist used his bike lock to defend himself, possibly striking the automobile’s window in the process, is a matter for a jury to determine, after weighing the evidence. The prosecutor will need more than the angry driver’s word for it.

Often, there are two sides to every story.  If we are to make New York City livable again, we probably should give cyclists the benefit of the doubt before indicting them for a felony without hearing their side of the story.

Name Withheld, ST

Police Watch, Jan. 2


Two people reported that their cars were damaged in separate incidents last week.

A 23-year-old woman told police that her car was damaged after she parked it in front of 127 East 17th Street at 7 p.m. on Wednesday. When she returned to the car at 8:15 p.m. the same day, she found that her car had been hit by another vehicle, which fled the scene and did not leave any contact information.

A 29-year-old man parked his car in front of 530 East 20th Street last Friday at 9:30 p.m. and reported that he found it damaged when he returned to check on the vehicle the next morning. There was damage on the left side and the unknown vehicle left the scene.


Police arrested 26-year-old Roy Assan for criminal mischief last Thursday at 11:10 a.m. in front of the 13th Precinct stationhouse at 203 East 21st Street. Assan allegedly damaged the passenger’s side mirror of an unmarked NYPD vehicle by ripping the mirror off with his hands. He also kicked the rear bumper, police said.


Two people reported in separate incidents that they were involved in car accidents near East 23rd Street in the last week.

A 50-year-old woman told police that she entered the FDR Drive at 42nd Street driving south last Friday at 10:45 p.m. and when she reached East 23rd Street on the FDR, a yellow taxi drove into her lane and collided with her car. The collision caused damage to the front fender of her vehicle but there were no injuries. The taxi continued south on the FDR without stopping.

A man reported that he was driving near the southwest corner of East 23rd Street and Avenue C last Tuesday at 3:45 p.m. when another vehicle hit his car. He told police that he made an attempt to stop the other driver, who slowed down but then sped off. The second driver has Florida license plates and no arrests were made.


Four people reported in separate incidents that their parked cars were broken into.

A 58-year-old man told police that an iPad Air was stolen from his work vehicle after he parked it in the garage at 320 East 23rd Street on December 20 at 9 a.m. He realized that the property, which belongs to his company, was missing when he checked on the car last Thursday at 3:15 p.m.

A 35-year-old man reported that he parked his car at the southeast corner of First Avenue and East 23rd Street at 2:15 a.m. last Thursday and when he returned at 6:30 p.m. the same day, he noticed that the passenger’s front window was smashed in and his GPS device had been stolen.

A man reported at 11 p.m. last Monday that his car was broken into earlier that day after he parked it in front of 130 East 18th Street. He left the car in that spot at 8 p.m. and when he returned at 10:50 p.m., he saw that the rear passenger window was broken and his GPS, camera and inverter had been removed.

A 77-year-old man told police that his car was broken into after he parked it in front of 302 East 19th Street last Wednesday at 5 p.m. When he returned to the car at 7:30 p.m. the same day, he found that the rear driver’s side window was broken and his cell phone, radio and parking permit were missing.


Police arrested 33-year-old Hamlet Perez for intoxicated driving  at 4:20 a.m. last Sunday. A homeless man told police that he saw Perez passed out and unresponsive at the wheel of his car, which was parked in front of 270 Park Avenue South. The fire department and EMS knocked on his car window for 20 minutes, trying to wake him up. Police said that Perez was passed out in the car with the engine still running with his foot on the brake. He was removed from the vehicle and allegedly had slurred speech, a heavy odor of alcohol on his breath and poor coordination. He refused a Breathalyzer test at the scene.


Police arrested 22-year-old Samuel Hodgkinson for assault at the Gansevoort Hotel Bar inside 420 Park Avenue South last Wednesday at 12:20 a.m. A 26-year-old man said that Hodgkinson allegedly head-butted him in the face, causing his nose to break.


Twenty-three-year-old Shahbaaz Virk was arrested in front of 225 Fifth Avenue for intoxicated driving last Wednesday at 6:33 a.m. An officer saw Virk allegedly cut across lanes of traffic on Fifth Avenue from west to east, took a U-turn on Fifth Avenue going north in the southbound lane and then attempted to parallel park. When the officer stopped the car, Virk allegedly had a slight smell of alcohol on him and blew a .124 percent on a Breathalyzer test.


A 56-year-old resident of Peter Cooper Village reported that his car was stolen after he parked it in front of 256 Avenue C on December 23 at 5 p.m. He told police that he parked the car in a legal spot and when he went to check on it at 10:30 a.m. the next day, it was missing. He checked the tow pound and the city marshal’s office and was unable to locate the vehicle.


A 17-year-old student of the High School for Health Professions and Human Services at 345 East 15th Street reported that her phone was stolen on December 18 at 11:30 a.m. She told police that she went to the restroom and when he returned, found that her backpack was open and her Blackberry Curve was missing.


A 27-year-old woman reported that her phone was stolen while she was eating in Kambi Ramen House at 351 East 14th Street last Saturday at 5:37 p.m. She told police that she put her iPhone 5 on the counter in front of her and a few minutes later after she had been looking at the menu, noticed that her phone was gone. She didn’t see anyone take it and there was no video surveillance available.


A 23-year-old woman reported last Wednesday that her wallet and cell phone were stolen on December 20 at 5 p.m. while she was on Broadway between West 28th and 29th Streets. She told police that while she was walking to the subway, the wallet and iPhone 5S were removed from off of the stroller in which she was pushing her son. She didn’t feel like she was bumped or jostled and she attempted to use the “Find My iPhone” app but the phone was turned off. Her wallet contained $550 in cash, her Social Security card, MetroCards and a money order.