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United States

1 killed, 6 injured as driver loses control of minivan in New York Chinatown

  • Video shows a dark-coloured minivan speeding down a street in reverse before striking the curb
  • Witness describes how man pinned against wall appeared to stop breathing
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 November, 2018, 11:14am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 November, 2018, 1:04pm

Police said a driver trying to parallel park on a New York City street lost control of his minivan and struck several pedestrians, killing one person and injuring six others.

It happened soon before 7pm Monday in Manhattan’s Chinatown.

Police said the injured pedestrians were hospitalised, including one in critical condition.

Video showed a dark-coloured minivan speeding down a street in reverse before striking the curb.

The driver was in his 70s and a police source said “it looks like a straightforward traffic collision”.

He mistakenly hit the accelerator and sped in reverse on to the pavement, hit two fruit sellers’ carts, and then slammed into a retaining wall that undergirds an on-ramp for the Manhattan Bridge, New York Daily News reported.

“Terrible car crash,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted.

“We cannot accept loss of life on our streets as inevitable”.

A witness described the horrible aftermath of the crash.

The minivan “sped up so quickly . … It smashed into the wall, and it pinned one man against the wall,” said Jin Lin, 32, an eyewitness.

“He was caught between the wall and the car.”

Lin said the man pinned against the wall appeared to stop breathing. She saw another victim try to get up from the ground.

“The guy got out of the car and checked on the people. He was saying: ‘Oh my God, oh my God’.”

“There were people on the floor who were crying and bleeding,” Lin said.

“There were about five people, and they were still moving.”

“I dialled 911 and told them what I saw,” Lin said.

“I was so freaked out, I blanked out.”

The man killed in the crash was between 45 and 50 years old, police said.

Associated Press, Tribune News Service