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Yesterday morning, a taxi that rear ended a station wagon and then tried to escape the scene ended up hitting a pedestrian and causing more crashes that left cars in mangled shape. At 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue, a station wagon had slowed down to let a pedestrian walk across. A taxi, driven by 54 year old Syad Zia, had been speeding and hit the station wagon, causing the wagon to hit the pedestrian, a 67 year old man. Then Zia swerved to leave the scene of the crime, hitting the same pedestrian (!!) and then, per Newsday, "sideswiped a minibus and Chevy Impala and crashed into another taxi cab," and then second cab then crashed into four other taxi cabs "like a row of dominos." One bystander said, "It was a chain reaction. It was just crunch, crunch, crunch." The pedestrian, Rubin Albayez, was pinned under the station wagon, and ten others were injured, including Zia's passengers: an 8-and-1/2 months pregnant woman and her husband, who had just visited the obstetrician. The woman delivered a healthy baby but she suffered "ruptured esophagus, a broken bone in her neck and a broken wrist."

Also, the impact of the second crash caused parts from Zia's cab to fly more than 10 feet. Some witnesses said the cab had been barreling down at "100 mph." The Taxi and Limousine Commission said that Zia had 3-4 moving violations (reports vary), which is normal for a taxi driver. The police are also investigating the possibility that Zia accidentally hit the gas when he meant to brake. That may be, but he still tried to leave the scene after rearending the station wagon.

Photograph from the AP