The taxi driver that hit a British tourist in Midtown Manhattan on Tuesday, severing her left foot and mangling her right foot, hasn’t been charged with any criminal conduct and likely won’t be.
Under New York City traffic laws, the NYPD doesn’t often charge drivers for striking pedestrians or bicyclists unless someone dies. That appears to be the case in one of the most high-profile cases this year, when Faysal Kabir Mohammad Himon ran off the road near Rockefeller Center and slammed into Sian Green, a British tourist visiting New York City.
Green was the only person seriously injured in the crash.
Himon has so far only got a summons for “unauthorized use,” an administrative violation for not notifying the Taxi and Limousine Commission, the agency that oversees the city’s taxis, that he would be driving that particular taxi, according to the New York Daily News.
But he has not gotten any criminal charge for seriously injuring a pedestrian.
Staff at Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance’s office told Streetsblog that prosecutors with the office are investigating the crash. Raymond Kelly, commissioner of the New York Police Department, told the New York Post that the investigationis going forward and that accident investigations take some time.
Himon claims that the crash happened because the bicyclist involved in the crash banged on his hood before he apparently lost control of the taxi.
“He was in my way and I got upset, so I gave him notice that I wanted to pass through,” Himon said, meaning he leaned on his horn, according to the Post.
“He started pounding on my car with his hands and was yelling things at me. I suddenly felt like I had to get out of there. It was becoming a bad situation. So I accelerated to get in front of him.”
After that, “everything becomes cloudy” as he lost control of the car. “I don’t know how” that happened, Himon said.
“I need a more suitable job. There’s too much stress when you’re driving in the city,” he said.
The 40-year-old bicyclist Kenneth Olivo, who was treated at the scene for a knee injury, told DNAInfo that the cab was trying to make a right turn but was about to run him over along the way.
“I told him, ‘Stop,'” said the cyclist, who banged on the hood. “He gets angry. He honked his horn and accelerates.”
Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, a group that advocates for walking, bicycling, and public transit in New York City, said in a statement that the Taxi and Limousine Commission should revoke Himon’s license to drive a taxi.
A commission spokesman said that the commission has taken the initial steps in suspending Himon’s license.
Councilman Peter Vallone (D-Queens) told the New York Daily News that Himon could have been charged with reckless endangerment.
“The police virtually never charge a driver who caused a serious accident with a crime,” said Vallone. “They have the crime of reckless endangerment (on the books) and yet they never use it.”
“I don’t know the fact of this case, so I’m not out there saying this guy needs to be charged, but this seems like an example of a case where charges would be appropriate.”
Green is recovering in Bellevue Hospital and her family is en route from the United Kingdom.