NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A man was struck and killed by a taxi at an Upper East Side intersection overnight.
As CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported Sunday morning, it was the same intersection where a woman was fatally mowed down just over a year ago. It also came a month after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a $1 billion safety push as part of Vision Zero.
But now, with two deadly accidents on the same block in 15 months, residents say the whole stretch of York Avenue in the area is dangerous to cross – and more action must be taken.
Police surrounded a yellow cab at 78th Street and York Avenue, questioning the driver who they said hit and killed a 50-year-old man crossing the street at 9:30 p.m. Saturday.
The driver’s passenger did not want to show his face, but he described the chilling impact.
“When the cab came around the corner, it hit a guy,” said the passenger, named Thomas. “He went on the hood, the car accelerated a bit, and then the guy slid down the hood and went under the car.”
The man did not see who had the light, but the driver immediately stopped and they called 911, as the pedestrian lay unconscious on the street.
“It was pretty terrible,” Thomas said. “I mean, you could feel him going under the wheel of the car, which makes you feel more involved than you’d like to — even as a witness.”
As 1010 WINS’ Roger Stern reported, the victim who was killed was identified as Manikam Srymanean. He managed a deli at the corner where the accident happened.
Srymanean was taken to NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Srymanean’s stepmother, who was at the deli – along with the deli workers – found out and broke down into tears.
“I know him more than 25 years. He’s a very generous guy; man. He was always giving a good hand to everybody, known and unknown,” one customer said. She said “Mano,” as he was known, was always feeding the homeless.
The family became worried when Srymanean did not show up for work and was not in his apartment.
This was the second time someone was struck and killed in the very same intersection in just over a year. A 68-year-old woman was hit and killed crossing the street back in January 2016.
“We got to do something,” said Erik Scotsman of the Upper East Side. “You know, streets have to be safe to walk.”
Last month, Mayor de Blasio announced a $1.6 billion safety project to add crosswalks, medians, wider sidewalks, and bike lanes – all part of his Vision Zero campaign.
“We understood that Vision Zero had to be aggressive. It meant a lot more enforcement by the NYPD; the TLC to stop speeding, to stop failure to yield, to stop the kinds of things that are putting lives in danger,” de Blasio said.
“I drive in the city and I guess, you know, 25 is the way to go,” Scotsman added early Sunday. “I mean, this is terrible. You know, this shouldn’t happen.”
Police have not said if speeding was a factor in the accident. The cab driver remained at the scene, and there were no arrests Sunday morning.