Questions remain after NYPD SUV collided with a car and pedestrians
LONGWOOD, the Bronx (WPIX) — Questions remain after a New York City Police Department SUV crossed into oncoming traffic, ran into a car and then struck a group of pedestrians on a corner on Thursday, injuring 10 people, some of it heavy.
Most of the victims remain hospitalized, with two in critical condition. Surveillance video of the incident provides evidence police are using to investigate what went wrong – but some eyewitnesses say the NYPD’s account of the situation doesn’t match their own experiences.
Victor Betancourt and his friend Frankie Santos were steps away from the accident at the corner of Westchester Avenue and Hoe Avenue when it happened around 3:15 p.m. Thursday.
“All we hear is ‘Boom!'” Betancourt said in an interview.
The two men have lived on the block their entire lives. Like her, many who came to the scene said it was horrific.
Christopher Reyes was another witness. “There were dead bodies everywhere,” he said, “people were crying, bleeding.”
Witnesses said a 5-year-old girl was in a handcart on the sidewalk and her mother removed her seconds before the accident. Even so, this girl was among 10 people, including a two-year-old passenger in the car that the police SUV hit, who had to be taken to local hospitals.
On Friday, some neighbors left candles at the scene. They had assumed that at least one of the injured had died. By Friday evening, however, all had survived. Two of the patients remain in critical but stable condition.
PIX11 News spoke to people in contact with some of the victims. They reported that although the situation was tragic and shocking, it appears all victims are recovering.
Various residents were also critical of the police officers deployed there.
“District 41 is aggressive,” said Betancourt. “It’s something that should be investigated.”
NYPD executives have said they are investigating and that the police vehicle involved pulled into oncoming traffic to respond to a call of a nearby auto theft.
Michael Graziano, another witness, questioned the need for the response, saying: “If it was a car theft – is it worth hitting 10 people in the middle?”
On Friday, an NYPD spokesman said the status of the case remained the same as it was on Thursday, the night it arose. Jeffrey Maddrey, the NYPD’s patrol chief, said at a news conference Thursday that the collision happened while police were performing their duties.
“Officials were trying to do the right thing,” he said. “You were trying to stop a crime in progress.”
He said the officers involved followed procedure, including turning on the lights and siren in the vehicle.
Surveillance video from the crime scene has no audio, but shows the NYPD vehicle’s emergency lights were flashing at the time of the accident.
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https://wgntv.com/news/nexstar-media-wire/questions-linger-after-nypd-suv-crashes-into-car-pedestrians/ Questions remain after NYPD SUV collided with a car and pedestrians