New York road rage: Cab hits cyclist and severs British woman's foot following argument

Cyclist describes altercation just moments before horrific incident in Manhattan

by Simon_MacMichael   August 21, 2013  

NYC Yellow Taxi (CC licensed by Zitzitoune)

A British woman on holiday in New York City has had her left foot severed after a taxi mounted the sidewalk, the driver having reportedly lost control of his vehicle after colliding with a cyclist with whom he had been arguing.

The woman, 23-year-old Sian Green from Leicester, was on the first day of her visit to the city with a friend. The pair were sitting by a fountain eating hot dogs when the yellow cab ploughed into her.

Shortly beforehand, an altercation had taken place between 24-year-old cab driver Faysal Kabir Mohammad Himon of Queens, and bike messenger Kenneth Olivo, aged 40.

Olivo said that he had been riding up Sixth Avenue when, at the junction with 49th Street one block from Rockefeller Center, the taxi cut him up and the driver started beeping his horn, reports the New York Daily News [Warning - some of the descriptions, pictures and videos linked in that article are graphic - ed].

The cyclist, who suffered cuts and bruises, told reporters: “I told him to stop because I’m trying to go forward and people are crossing.

“He loses his patience. He gets angry. He accelerates. Hits me.

“I'm on the roof of a car like in a Steven Seagal movie, okay. And I’m on the sidewalk. I’m like this looking up at the sky.”

Himon, who claimed “it was an accident,” was issued with a summons for being an unauthorised driver, but was not arrested in connection with the crash itself.

The New York Daily Post says that Himon, originally from Bangladesh, has been driving cabs in the city since 2010, but has racked up nine penalty points on his driver’s license for offence including speeding and running a red light.

His brother, Sayed Shamen, said of yesterday’s events: “He had a fight with the bicyclist.

“He went to hit the brake and stepped on the accelerator instead.”

Among those who rushed to Miss Green’s aid were celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz, who was said to be filming for his TV series nearby.

He credited quick-thinking plumber David Justino, working at an adjacent building site, for saving the British tourist’s life after he removed his belt and used it as a tourniquet to help stem the blood.

Her father, Jason Green, has flown to New York to be at his daughter’s bedside in hospital and told the Leicester Mercury: "She is in recovery now, and they have had to amputate what's left of her foot.

"We are a really close family we are all devastated by what has happened.

"We don't know what to say.

"We just want to be at our daughter's side right now."

A Foreign & Commonwealth Office spokesman said: "We are aware of a traffic incident involving a British national in New York City.

"Staff at the British Consulate General in New York are providing consular assistance at this difficult time."

19 user comments

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Idiot. Some drivers should be banned for life. They only realise the consequence of their stupid actions when its too late. Terrible.

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posted by Simmo72 [470 posts]
21st August 2013 - 13:36

6 Likes

If this guy is allowed to drive in the future, ever, my faith in humanity is permanently irreparable. Sad

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posted by mooleur [542 posts]
21st August 2013 - 13:57

6 Likes

The detailed account (elsewhere on the web) given of this by the courier is horrific. The poor soul on her holidays has had her life changed forever. The guy genuinely needs doing for attempted murder.

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice...

posted by notfastenough [3646 posts]
21st August 2013 - 14:52

7 Likes

Poor, poor girl. Cabbie sounds like a purely dangerous driver and should be locked in a cell to rot. So sad for the girl and her family. Kudos to the bystanders for some quick thinking (ice box, belt torniquet etc) that may well have saved her life.

Asolare

posted by Goldfever4 [180 posts]
21st August 2013 - 15:08

7 Likes

Shocking, he has a bad history as well for drive offences, all the more reason to nip these people in the bud with the withdrawal of licences sooner.

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posted by Leodis [318 posts]
21st August 2013 - 15:31

5 Likes

Leodis wrote:
Shocking, he has a bad history as well for drive offences, all the more reason to nip these people in the bud with the withdrawal of licences sooner.

to be honest the bit - "summons for being an unauthorised driver" - makes it sound like this has been tried with this guy already

Buddha said:

Believe nothing, No matter where you read it,
Or who has said it, Not even if I have said it,
Unless it agrees with your own reason
And your own common sense.

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posted by mad_scot_rider [578 posts]
21st August 2013 - 15:44

5 Likes

They'll probably blame it all on the cyclist. The NYPD aren't big fans of people on bikes.

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posted by nowasps [312 posts]
21st August 2013 - 16:15

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nowasps wrote:
They'll probably blame it all on the cyclist. The NYPD aren't big fans of people on bikes.

The Daily Mail managed to pretty much blame the cyclist. The Mail was basically a rehash of the NY Daily News article, complete with sensationalist pictures.

Quote:
The guy genuinely needs doing for attempted murder.

Doubt you'd get that to stick - he may have meant to drive into the cyclist but you'd have to prove an intent to kill. The hitting a pedestrian bit was a very unfortunate and unintentional side effect of him trying to cut up a cyclist. If he then claims it was all "just an accident" about the worst that could be done would be unintentional wounding (or something similar - I'm not a lawyer).
I mean, if he'd just have cut the cyclist up and that was all, it wouldn't have made international news, in fact it wouldn't have made any news at all.

posted by crazy-legs [624 posts]
21st August 2013 - 16:52

5 Likes

This is a good reason to never succumb to the urge to argue with drivers, no matter how stupid they are behaving. Smile and wave and get on with your ride. The sad thing about this case is that it probably wouldn't have happened if the courier hadn't argued with the moron in the cab. Don't get me wrong, I don't blame the cyclist (like the Daily Hate Mail) but damn, it's gotta suck for that bike courier today.

:wq

posted by steeve.mccauley [1 posts]
21st August 2013 - 16:52

4 Likes

yea id feel bad if i was in an argument with a motor vehicle driver and then he did something that hurt SOMEONE else... if he had simply crashed into me i'd take out my anger in trying to get him sentenced and punished to my satisfactory.
but hitting an innocent bystander, there surely wont be much comeback on that.
its not the cycle couriers fault at all, blame lies 100% with the driver of the cab. doesnt mean the courier wont feel bad tho.....

as for "hit accelerator instead of break by accident", im pretty sure ive read that a few times before.
what they mean is in a moment of rage they tried to run over the cyclist.... but after the event they realise the consequences of the big heap of metal they were pointing at people and their ONLY excuse can be that they made a mistake and were actually trying to break. sorry but that will never wash with me, especially if its a professional driver (cabbie). sorry, but when u do these things day in day out u become one with the the vehicle, be it bike, car, truck... u dont just press the wrong buttons and levers at a crucial time!!!!

Feel the fear and do it anyway

hood's picture

posted by hood [117 posts]
21st August 2013 - 17:27

4 Likes

Actually, hitting the accelerator instead of the break is a pretty common occurrence for automatic transmission car drivers - particularly the elderly when panicked. Manual drivers tend to engage the clutch in those situations so its pretty exclusive to automatic cars as the instinct, when trying to stop and the car keeps going, is to put the foot down on the "brake" even harder.

Not that I'm excusing this guy obviously, just saying that "I thought it was the brake" does actually happen.

posted by Nick T [896 posts]
21st August 2013 - 20:08

6 Likes

There is I'd suggest a civil case against the City of New York, who have a heap more resources to go after than a man driving a taxi who by all reports was doing this illegally. What quality of regulation exists through the NYC taxi licencing office? In not preventing someone with such a bad driving record from being behind the wheel of public service vehicle they have shown a serious dereliction in delivery of a duty of care, and should be called to account.

If this is done, and a suitably substantial civil claim succeeds then we might see the joke that is regulation of official drivers in NYC (and many other parts of the US) taken a bit more seriously. About 10 years ago a survey of NYPD drivers found a frightening number were officially driving vehicles for which they did not hold a valid driving licence. NYPD!

47 years of breaking bikes and still they offer me a 10 year frame warranty!

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posted by A V Lowe [539 posts]
21st August 2013 - 21:00

6 Likes

What a joke, not even arrested, says it all.

posted by northstar [1113 posts]
21st August 2013 - 21:05

5 Likes

Nick T wrote:
Actually, hitting the accelerator instead of the break is a pretty common occurrence for automatic transmission car drivers - particularly the elderly when panicked. Manual drivers tend to engage the clutch in those situations so its pretty exclusive to automatic cars as the instinct, when trying to stop and the car keeps going, is to put the foot down on the "brake" even harder.

Not that I'm excusing this guy obviously, just saying that "I thought it was the brake" does actually happen.

fair enough. i stand corrected

Feel the fear and do it anyway

hood's picture

posted by hood [117 posts]
22nd August 2013 - 9:10

5 Likes
nowasps's picture

posted by nowasps [312 posts]
22nd August 2013 - 10:32

5 Likes

crazy-legs wrote:
Doubt you'd get that to stick - he may have meant to drive into the cyclist but you'd have to prove an intent to kill.

If he did in fact mean to hit the cyclist, then there can be no other expected outcome of deliberately trying to run over a human being with a 2 tonne vehicle other than for them to be killed.

posted by Matt_S [214 posts]
22nd August 2013 - 11:01

6 Likes

posted by neilv [7 posts]
22nd August 2013 - 15:27

5 Likes

Yes because every driver gets the gas and brake pedals confused. Bloody idiot should be charged with at least one count of Manslaughter! Angry Angry Angry

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posted by Angelfishsolo [122 posts]
22nd August 2013 - 18:49

5 Likes

I drove gears for 10 years and have been automatic for another 22. I've never had a crash and never mistaken the accelerator for the brake. The brake tends to be the big one in the middle that you use to stop the car - whether stick or auto. Yawn

Silly me. You're probably right....

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posted by MercuryOne [1128 posts]
24th August 2013 - 23:58

3 Likes