NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Charges were pending against a driver late Monday following a crash on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway that left one woman dead and eight other people injured early Monday morning.
As CBS2’s Steve Langford reported, the family that was struck was leaving a wedding at the time of the accident. Now, they are preparing for a funeral.
Aissatou Diallo, 49, of Staten Island, got out of her car after getting a flat tire just before 3 a.m. She was standing with a group of people who had stopped to help her when another car crashed into her vehicle, which then struck her, knocking her off the highway onto the street below, police said.
“When I heard the real horrible screaming, I looked out the window and I saw they all looked down from the highway, and there was a woman laying over there — it’s terrible,” said witness Joseph Bulger.
Emergency crews found Diallo lying on the pavement on Meeker Avenue near Apollo Street. She was rushed to Elmhurst Hospital Center, where she was pronounced dead.
Family member Saliou Diallo said they were all coming back in several cars from a wedding in Queens, when one of their victims had a flat tire – prompting everyone to pull over. Suddenly, a car came hurtling toward them fast, he said.
“Like 70 to 80 miles an hour — just came and like hit everybody,” Saliou Diallo said.
The driver – Vladimir Menin, 43 – was taken to Woodhull Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries, officials said. He was in custody late Monday with charges pending.
The victim’s family said the out-of-control driver tried to flee.
“We had to run and grab him. He got out of the car, start walking away — we had to run and grab him,” Saliou Diallo said.
The heartbroken husband of the victim – both of whom immigrated from French-speaking West Africa a quarter century ago – was surrounded by grieving family and friends late Monday.
Eight people from the victim’s car and the vehicle that stopped to assist her were hurt, police said.