A taxi (presumably the one involved in the crash) parked at 81st and Columbus on Wednesday morning.) Photo by William Anderson.

The SUV that caused a chain-reaction crash on 81st street and Central Park West Tuesday night had run a red light before slamming into a taxi in the intersection, police sources told the Daily News. The crash, which occurred around 8:40 p.m., ended up causing at least one severe injury.

A man driving a silver Nissan Pathfinder was going north on [Central Park West] when he ran a light and hit a yellow cab coming from the park and headed west, police sources said. The cab spun and hit the first woman.

Sources said she suffered serious leg injuries.

“They pulled a woman out from under the car. She didn’t look good. She was screaming from the pain,” [witness ] Hansome said. “I’m going to pray for her.”

The SUV then hit a second woman, causing minor injuries before rear-ending the bus, the News reported.

The [SUV] driver told police his brakes didn’t work, but investigators found no problems when they tested the brakes themselves, sources said.

“We think it’s pedal misapplication,” one source said, meaning the man hit the gas instead of the brakes.

An NYPD spokesperson did not have any information on the crash or the status of the investigation on Tuesday morning.

NEWS | 13 comments | permalink
    1. Kelle says:

      Should this read “going north on CPW”
      instead of E 81?

    2. Margaret says:


      I don’t understand why the 20th precinct is so averse to protecting us by enforcing the speed limit. So far in 2016 they’ve written nearly 700 tickets per month, of which only 14 per month were tickets for speeding.

      This leaves us unsafe. There’s no way to do this much physical and property damage to unsuspecting bystanders at 25 mph.

      Please don’t wait for catastrophic injuries to focus our law enforcement resources on the biggest dangers.

      • robert says:

        A-The 20 and 24 spend a lot of time and $$$ on traffic enforcement. But those same officers have to respond to radio calls and
        other incidents.

        B- There is nothing in any of the reports and or media coverage that the driver was speeding. Unfortunately hitting the gas instead of the brake pedal happens much more that the public thinks.

        • Margaret says:

          They do not spend enough time on speeding enforcement. The numbers make that crystal clear.

          Is there a number in their heads on how many people in the Upper West Side will suffer critical injury by speeding drivers, before they’ll do enforcement that isn’t a joke?

          Are you saying an Upper West Sider on the sidewalk can have her legs mangled by an out of control driver, and you do not see any steps that NYPD should take to address dangerous driving?

          • Margaret says:

            I’m curious about their number. This is two curb-jumping pedestrian-injuring crashes in 8 days. And serious, life-altering injuries. I know they’re still looking for the hit-and-run driver who caused a chain reaction crash that tore off a woman’s arm last week. But the danger to the public has not been addressed.

            It seems like you work closely with the police? Is this indicative of their thinking? Please, how can the neighborhood get a police department that enforces the law and keeps us safe?

    3. Mike says:

      Very bad intersection. People often running red lights — buses, everybody. Traffic police stand around looking the other way, doing nothing.

    4. Eli says:

      Fool shouldn’t be allowed a license. I’ve mistakenly pressed the gas & the brake simultaneously (I had just gotten new boots). I didn’t understand what was happening at first, but I immediately shifted to neutral, and was going for the e-brake, when the sudden deceleration coupled with the engine racing, clued me in to what was happening. I had an actual brake failure once, and at the top of a big hill too! I managed to stop by combining down-shifting and e-brakes.

      It’s FAR too easy to get and keep a driving license. There should be re-tests with each renewal with challenging scenarios in a simulator.

    5. Woody says:

      I assume it’s a mistake and that the SUV was heading north on CPW.

      Drivers run that light going north all the time because it’s been out of sync for a long time. It changes way too early in the set of lights that should be in the same timing group.

    6. josh says:

      Drivers run “THAT” red light?? Drivers run EVERY red light on the UWS, particularly on the north-south arteries, and mainly Broadway and CPW. Red light cameras with automatic ticketing at all main intersection would help.

      • Lin says:

        Red light cameras with automatic ticketing great idea and at all major intersections in the city. I have nothing against these new free chargers for phones that are being set up (eg 72nd and Broadway) but I would like to suggest that funds be used instead for traffic safety,
        as funds are limited. A few years ago I was missed, by a hair, getting run down by a speeding car turning west on 79th and Broadway. That driver was definitely not missing his/her brake.

    7. Emmy says:

      Speed cameras, please.

    8. UWS Doc says:

      Seriously scary stuff. Happened to randomly be on the scene at a motorcycle trauma recently, and, thinking about what I saw (awesome people trying to help but unsure what to do)- remember that if you witness a significant trauma like this, beyond calling 911 etc…basics include pressure for could literally be a stab wound to heart and the answer is all blunt trauma please have yourself or someone else manually stabilize the c-spine..and hopefully it doesn’t come up but if necessary hands-only CPR is fine from bystanders..try to get an AED from a nearby business if you can. In my anecdotal experience it is c-spine immobilization in blunt trauma most often left out by good Samaritans, so just wanted to spread the word! Stay safe out there!