Volume 17 • Issue 27 | Nov. 26 - Dec. 02, 2004

Downtown Express photo by Lincoln Anderson

A police officer checked on a cab driver who lay on Greenwich St. after a collision.

Cabbie injured near Canal

A collision at Canal and Greenwich Sts. on Sunday afternoon shortly after 4 p.m. left a cab driver seriously injured. The yellow taxi was heading westbound on Canal St. and was turning left onto Greenwich St. when it was struck by a maroon van heading eastbound on Canal St. The taxi’s driver’s seat airbag deployed and the driver’s foot hit the accelerator. A police officer had pulled over two cars onto Greenwich St. for “blocking the box,” and the cab plowed into the rear of the first, a silver Honda, crumpling its left rear end, with the Honda then bumping into a silver Pontiac van parked in front of it. The cab’s door popped open and the driver, Abu Sayed, fell out of the car as his wheels spun furiously and the airbag burst, both creating a cloud of white smoke. The police officer who had been giving out tickets responded to help Sayed, who was able to move his arm and head weakly, but didn’t speak as he lay motionless. E.M.T.’s arrived and removed the hack from the street on a body board.

The passenger in the taxi, a woman who was returning to her Tribeca home who declined to give her name, said she hit the cab’s plastic divider but felt all right and would not seek medical attention. “I’m O.K., I just feel bad for the driver,” she said. The two young men in the Honda said they were unhurt, though one of them, Jason Williams, 21, said his shoulder and head had hit the windshield. Juan Valentin, 33, the van’s driver, said he and his wife were uninjured, and that he would give the two other men a lift back to Delaware, where by chance they all came from.

Sol Rosenblatt, 75, an inventor living at 481 Greenwich St. who had been parking his car nearby, said the intersection near the Holland Tunnel is very dangerous and that cars “blocking the box” just make it worse. “You shouldn’t have a left-hand turn from Canal St. onto Greenwich,” he said. “And you only have 30 seconds to cross the street. Drivers think it’s a highway.

“This is turning into a residential area,” he added. “There are going to be kids here.” Rosenblatt said about two months ago there was a similar accident involving an S.U.V. that had been turning.

— Lincoln Anderson

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