Sunday, August 2, 2009

Livery cab slams into Queens street festival, injuring dozen

From the Daily News by Edgar Sandoval and Jonathan Lemire:

An out-of-control livery cab skidded into a Queens street festival Sunday, slamming into food tents and injuring a dozen people while sending scores more scurrying for safety, police and witnesses said.

Revelers who braved the rain to enjoy the annual Queens Ecuadorian Day Parade in Corona were sampling traditional foods and shopping for clothes when the car suddenly roared into the tents, witnesses said.

"It just came out of nowhere," said Luz Lima, who was selling children's garments with her 15-year-old niece, Nicky. "The car just came on us and I just heard an explosion."

"I was expecting to get hit [and] I just blacked out," said Nicky Lima. "I screamed. I was terrified."

Investigators believe that Louis Nunez was behind the wheel of his 2002 Lincoln Town Car when he lost control at the intersection of 37th Ave. and Junction Blvd. at 1 p.m., police said.

Unable to stop, the car careened into several tents set up by the Junction Blvd. Merchant Association, just a block from the popular parade.

"I could not believe my eyes," said Jay Hu, who was selling clothes in a tent moments before the wreck. "We ran out of the way and it crashed everything on its way."

"People ran all over screaming," said witness Mike An, 45. "They were running for their lives."

Two vendors suffered minor injuries - burns caused by tipped over food carts - and were taken to Elmhurst Medical Center in stable condition, officials said. Ten other people were treated at the scene for minor injuries.

Nunez, who was not hurt, appeared disoriented when he was pulled from the car, witnesses said.

"He asked me if he had killed someone," said witness Carlos Jarrin. "He seemed strange, out of it."

A propane tank from one food booth got lodged under the cab, forcing cops to evacuate the area until members of the NYPD Emergency Services Unit removed it.

Nunez does not face any criminal charges, police said. With Simone Weichselbaum

With Simone Weichselbaum

1 comment:

  1. It should be investigated on why the cabbie lost control of his vehicle. Was it the road conditions, or the condition of the wheels on his car, or did he black out.