Cabbie Faces Right of Way Charges for Critically Injuring Midtown Pedestrian

Image: NY1
Image: NY1

Taxi driver Babul Miah, 29, faces charges under the city’s Right of Way Law after critically injuring a 20-year-old woman who was in the crosswalk at Eighth Avenue and West 57th Street on Saturday at approximately 5:30 p.m.

The woman, who was not identified by police, was crossing 57th Street from south to north on the east side of Eighth Avenue when Miah, driving north on Eighth Avenue, struck her while turning right onto 57th Street, according to NYPD. He then crashed into a payphone on the sidewalk. The woman was taken to Weill Cornell Medical Center in critical condition and is “likely to die,” police officials told the Daily News.

“It was hectic. It was just hectic. Everybody was mad because it was so much people,” a witness told NY1. “Her boyfriend, the people who was watching it, was like, ‘Could you stop, stop, stop.'”

Miah was charged with failure to exercise due care and failure to yield to a pedestrian, misdemeanor charges under the city’s Right of Way Law. His hack license was “immediately suspended” under Cooper’s Law, the Taxi and Limousine Commission told Streetsblog.

Miah is new to taxi driving. He was issued a hack license in April and was still in a probationary period, allowing the TLC to take “more aggressive actions,” including automatic revocation of a license [PDF]. TLC has not yet taken any action other than suspending Miah’s license.

Transportation Alternatives released a statement commending NYPD for its investigation and filing charges against the driver. “So far this year, there have been eight fatal crashes involving yellow cabs, boro taxis and for-hire vehicles,” said Executive Director Paul Steely White. “Of the eight people killed in crashes involving taxis, five victims were walking with the right of way, either in a crosswalk or on the sidewalk.”

The crash occurred in the district represented by Council Member Corey Johnson, on the border of Community Boards 4 and 5. The intersection is located in the Midtown North precinct, which issued 238 failure-to-yield tickets in 2014, up from 146 in 2013. The precinct issued 105 failure-to-yield tickets from the beginning of the year through the end of last month [PDF].

There have been 31 pedestrian injuries at the intersection since 2009, including two this year through the end of last month, according to the city’s Vision Zero View.

The crash occurred one week after a taxi driver killed Amelia Sterental, 76, while making a left turn from Madison Avenue onto E. 60th Street. No charges were filed against the driver in that crash.