Five people were hurt when a cab, headed uptown on First Avenue, jumped the curb at East 3rd Street late last night and smashed into a coffee shop. A 71-year old man, who was inside “The Bean (49 First Avenue),” was rushed to Bellevue Hospital, with serious injuries to his head, neck and hip. Four others were also taken to Bellevue: two bicyclists who suffered neck and back injuries, as well as the cab driver and his passenger, a 30-year old woman.
The taxi driver had apparently been trying to swerve around a black Jeep Cherokee when the accident happened (about 1:30am), but the two cars collided. The driver of the Cherokee, 19-year old Danny Batista, talked to Channel 2:
“He (the cab driver) was coming up First Avenue, flying up First Avenue. I saw the headlights, I heard a horn. When I heard the horn I got hit… I was coming westbound on 3rd Street, light turned green, started moving, I hear a horn. I look to my left, I see a cab, try to get out of his way, come up first, blasted me, went right through the intersection.”
Several witnesses said the light was not green, and that Batista was at fault, but so far, the NYPD has not filed any charges. Stacie Joy, who took the photo above, told Gothamist:
My friend and I were walking home from a photoshoot tonight (cameras strapped to our bodies)… (a) guy who was hit by the taxi told me his name is Will, he’s 28, and lives on First Street. He was a total trooper, covered in blood and with teeth knocked out but concerned about his friends. I hope he and everyone else who was injured will heal up quickly; the accident was horrible.
EV Grieve reports “The Bean” is back open this morning.