NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Mohammed Himon, the driver whose cab jumped a curb Tuesday and struck a British tourist, says he’s sorry about the accident, but added that it wasn’t his fault. Meanwhile, the Taxi and Limousine Commission has announced that it has suspended the Bangladeshi immigrant.
Himon spoke to reporters, including CBS 2′s Tracee Carrasco, Friday outside Bellevue Hospital, where 23-year-old Sian Green is recovering after losing her left leg in the accident on Sixth Avenue near Radio City Music Hall.
“I’m very sorry about that,” said Himon. “I will always pray for her and her family. If I do something, I’m going to do for her. I’m going to always pray for her. I wish her good luck.”
The New York State Federation of Taxi Cab Drivers announced that it has started a campaign to raise money for Green’s medical bills and has collected about $3,000 so far. The group also said it is standing behind Himon.
Himon, who has been driving a cab for three years, said an aggressive bicyclist was responsible for the crash.
“It’s not my fault,” he said. “It’s just an accident. … I didn’t see him at all. When he banged on my car. Then I saw him.”
However, the bicycle messenger, Kenneth Olivo, had a different story earlier in the week.
“I could touch the hood of the car. That’s how close he was,” Olivo said. “I told him to stop, he gets angry, he honks his horn and he accelerates, and that’s it — I’m on the hood of the car.”
The cab then struck Green, who was sitting on a planter on her first day of vacation in New York. Green’s left leg was severed in the accident. Quick-thinking good Samaritans, plumber David Justino and food truck owner Max Crespo, rushed to Green’s aid.
“Myself and a plumber put a tourniquet on,” said Crespo. “The plumber took his belt off and applied the first tourniquet. I grabbed her leg, the part that was torn off, and put it in a bucket of ice.”
Doctors, however, were unable to save Green’s left leg. Her right leg was also injured, but she will likely be able to regain most of her functionality in that limb with time and physical therapy, doctors said.
Green’s parents rushed from England to be by their daughter’s bedside and issued a statement of thanks Thursday.
“There are not enough words to express our gratitude to everyone who has helped our family during this difficult time,” the statement said.
Himon was issued a summons for being an unauthorized driver in the vehicle that he was operating. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Wednesday that the investigation into the crash was ongoing.
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