CBS2 Sources: Cab Driver Had Been Driving For 16 Hours Before Deadly UWS Crash
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Fatigue may have been a factor in a deadly accident involving a taxi on the Upper West Side.
Sources tell CBS2 the cab driver told police he had been driving for 16 hours before allegedly hitting 88-year-old Luisa Rosario on Sunday, surpassing the city limit of 12 hours in a 24-hour period.
Surveillance video from the scene shows the crash, which happened just after midnight. The taxi makes a right turn off Columbus Avenue as Rosario steps off the sidewalk to cross 109th Street with the light.
That's when police said she was hit by the cab, which was turning right onto 109th Street from Columbus Avenue. Police said she was taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.
"He was yelling it wasn't his fault, it wasn't his fault, 'I didn't see her,'" one man said.
Rosario's grandson Junior Manuel Tavarez said he can't believe it happened right around the corner from her apartment.
"To me, it's like a nightmare and I still don't believe it," he said.
Milagros Fajaldo was in tears and barely able to speak about the loss of Rosario, a motherly woman who was well known and loved by her neighbors.
"She was always smiling and talking to you, dancing with the little kids," said neighbor Regina Walker.
On Friday, Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke about the alarming number of traffic deaths a year after launching his Vision Zero program.
"The NYPD has issued 100,000 speeding tickets this year alone," he said. "Which is nearly twice as much since Vision Zero was put into effect."
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said pedestrian safety related summonses are anticipated to increase by tens of thousands, WCBS 880's Rich Lamb reported.
The mayor's office says 104 pedestrians have been killed so far this year compared to 117 deaths this time last year.
"Vision zero is working, we saw it last year, the fewest pedestrian deaths in over 100 years, we see it continuing to improve this year, but there's much more to come on Vision Zero," de Blasio said.
Rosario's family is begging the city to do more.
"They need to do something about it, I mean the mayor, the politicians," said her grandson.
The driver of the taxi, 73-year-old Salifu Abubkar, was arrested and charged with failure to yield to a pedestrian, police said. The Manhattan district attorney is now investigating.
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