Aug 22 2013
Did you know that the driver of the NYC taxi that careened out of control and severed the foot of a British tourist is a Muslim?
Neither did I, until now, and I’ve been hearing reports of this accident all day on radio. The first day of a dream vacation turned into a nightmare for a British tourist when a cabbie, Faysal Kabir Mohammad Himon, 24, who had been arguing with a bicyclist ‘lost’ control of his taxi and mowed her down on the sidewalk — severing her left foot.
NY Daily News (h/t Kristal M) Siân Green, 23, arrived in New York Monday night with one of her best friends for a trip they had anticipated with excitement on Instagram. The next day, they bought hot dogs at Sixth Ave. and 50th St. about 11:20 a.m. in the sun-drenched city. Green and her friend, Keshia Warren, were sitting on the ledge of a fountain in a crowded plaza on the avenue.
They were chowing down on the hot dogs when the yellow cab jumped the curb at 49th St. and plowed into Green, sending her flying and springing several good Samaritans into action.
CBS The cabbie, who has been registered with the Taxi and Limousine Commission since 2010, is not facing criminal charges, but was issued a summons for being an unlicensed driver with the company he was working for. The TLC is moving to suspend Himon’s taxi license, CBS 2′s Don Champion reported.
Sources told CBS 2 that Himon had several moving violations, including running a red light, speeding, improper turn and use of a bus lane, in 2010, when he was granted his license. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly answered growing questions about why Himon isn’t facing criminal charges in the crash.
Faysal Kabir Mohammad Himon, the 24-year-old cabbie with a checkered driving history, said the wreck was a horrible accident. And he blamed it on an angry bicyclist who he says was banging on the hood of the cab before he lost control. “I feel really bad about the lady,” said Himon, a married Bangladeshi immigrant who has been driving a cab since 2010. “I didn’t realize she was underneath my car.
Meanwhile, bike messenger Kenneth Olivo gave a conflicting account of the crash, insisting the cabbie caused the catastrophe by striking him, then careening out of control. “I told him to stop because I’m trying to go forward and people are crossing,” said Olivo, 40, sporting a bandage on his thigh. “He loses his patience. He gets angry. He accelerates. Hits me.”
Olivo told reporters he was heading north on Sixth Ave. and so was the cab. He was pedaling to the right of the cab when it cut him off and the driver laid into the horn, he said. Suddenly, the cyclist said, “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.”
David Justino, a plumber who had been working in the area, stripped off his Carhartt tool belt and used it as a tourniquet. His quick thinking may have saved Green’s life.
“The real hero of the day is plumber Dave, just an average Joe, an average Dave, just walking along the street, but he saved her life,” said Dr. Mehmet Oz, whose T-shirt and jeans were spattered with blood. “It’s very smart thinking. A simple thing like a union plumber’s belt can save your life.” “Her left leg was severed off, the other was mangled,” he said. “She was conscious the whole time, the poor thing. I wished she would have passed out.”
Green’s severed, sandal-clad foot was recovered at the scene and doctors at Bellevue Hospital tried in vain to reattach it. At least two other people were also being treated at area hospitals for less serious injuries. “She is in recovery now, and they have had to amputate what’s left of her foot,” said her father, Jason, outside their home in New Parks in central England’s Leicestershire county.
Warren, who sources said was staying with Green at the Hotel Pennsylvania, escaped the incident unharmed. According to their Facebook pages, both girls live in Leicester, England, about 100 miles north of London. Green’s page says she works at fashion retailer Hugo Boss, while Warren’s page says she studied at Leicester College.