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East Village Collision Sends Cab Into Coffee Shop; 5 Injured

NEW YORK (CBS 2) -- An overnight collision sent a taxi smashing into a coffee shop, injuring several pedestrians in the East Village.

A night out, enjoying the holiday weekend, transformed into horror for a few people standing on the corner of First Avenue and 3rd Street early Sunday morning.

The taxi cab crashed into an SUV, then jumped the sidewalk and careened into the front of a popular coffee shop.

"There was a guy inside the store," one witness said. "He was standing right by the glass, and he got hit."

The cab struck three people – a 71-year-old man and two men in their 20s, one of them on a bicycle.

Danny Batista, 19, was driving the SUV. He said he was crossing First Avenue when the cab driver ran a red light.

"He was coming up First Avenue, flying up First Avenue," Batista said. "I saw the headlights, I heard a horn. When I heard the horn I got hit."

Batista hit his head on his car's windshield, but waited to get treatment. He said he was in shock after the crash.

"I hope the older gentleman is alright – it's innocent bystanders," Batista said. "Somebody's got to regulate these cabs. They drive like maniacs."

There is some dispute about who was at-fault in the accident, though. At least one witness said Batista caused the accident.

"The jeep ran the light; the cab tried to get out of the way," the witness said.

Five people were taken to Bellevue Hospital, including the cab driver and a passenger. The 71-year-old man was the most seriously injured, but police expect him to recover.

No charges have been filed yet, as police continue to investigate the circumstances behind the crash.

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