NEW YORK (CBSNeWYork) — The parents of a New Milford, New Jersey man killed in the Halloween truck attack along a lower Manhattan park bike path are planning to file a lawsuit.
Darren Drake, a 32-year-old project manager for Moody’s Investors Service at the World Trade Center, was one of eight people killed when 29-year-old terror suspect Sayfullo Saipov allegedly plowed his rental pickup truck into pedestrians and cyclists.
According to Rosemarie Arnold, the attorney for Drake’s parents, the terror attack was 100 percent avoidable.
Arnold said officials knew the park was accessible to cars and trucks, and that the path should have been blocked off before the attack.
“More than 50 tickets have been given with respect to that bike path for vehicles who were on it that didn’t belong there,” Arnold said. “The Transportation Department recommended that barriers be put up on this bike path to avoid the exact thing that happened to their son.”
The path has since been blocked off with large rectangular concrete barriers.
“This terrorist chose this specific pedestrian and bike path because he knew he was going to have unfettered access to it,” Arnold said. “He was going to drive down it with impunity and be able to hurt the people that he hurt and had there been a barrier, that would’ve prevented him from doing it; it would’ve also deterred him from doing it.”
The suit will name New York City, New York State and the trust which operates the park.
“The parents feel that their son’s death could’ve been avoided had New York City, New York State and the trust paid attention to the surrounding areas,” Arnold said. “All the city, the state and the trust had to do was first of all barricade it with very simple inexpensive barricades and also to make it more apparent that this was a bike path and not a path where vehicles were permitted.”
They are seeking an unspecified dollar amount.
“Because unfortunately they can’t have their son back. Which is what they would really want,” Arnold said.
Saipov has been indicted on murder and terror charges in connection with the attack.