Cab Driver Pleads to Homicide for Killing 2 on Bronx Sidewalk While Off Epilepsy Meds
Emilio Garcia hit Tierre Clark, 5, and Kadeem Brown, 25, on the Grand Concourse.
A taxi driver has pled guilty to homicide for killing two people, including a child, on a Bronx sidewalk after he stopped taking his epilepsy medication.
Emilio Garcia hit 5-year-old Tierre Clark and 25-year-old Kadeem Brown with a green cab on the Grand Concourse at E. 170th Street on March 20, 2015.
Clark, then 44, injured two other people, including Tierre’s mother Sanequa Howe, who sustained bone fractures. Howe said she and Tierre were waiting for a bus when they were struck.
The Bronx district attorney’s office told Gothamist Garcia was aware of his epilepsy and had been in a collision that caused injuries to another driver before the Grand Concourse crash. Garcia “continued to drive his taxi for nearly three months without disclosing his condition,” Gothamist reported.
The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles relies on motorists to self-report medical conditions that could affect their ability to drive. The Taxi and Limousine Commission also failed to prevent Garcia from driving a cab, even after he was involved in a crash.
The case against Garcia was originally brought by former district attorney Robert Johnson, who was succeeded in 2016 by Darcel Clark.
Garcia was initially charged with manslaughter and homicide. The top charges were later upgraded to murder. He was also charged with assault.
Last week Garcia pled guilty to one count of assault, a class D felony, and two counts of homicide, according to court records. In New York, assault is a more serious charge than homicide, which is a class E felony — the state’s least severe felony category.
Class D felonies carry penalties ranging from probation to seven years in prison. Garcia is expected to be sentenced in December.
Crashes proven or believed to have been caused by epileptic drivers have killed several people in NYC in recent years. Last year Clark charged Howard Unger with manslaughter for killing a 10-year-old girl, her grandfather, and another man on a sidewalk after Unger allegedly neglected to take his medication. Unger’s trial was scheduled to begin this month.
Auvryn Scarlett was convicted of murder for fatally striking two Manhattan tourists with a garbage truck after he had a seizure behind the wheel. An appeals court reduced the conviction to manslaughter, but affirmed that a conviction on serious felony charges was warranted.