Driver Arrested After Killing 1, Injuring 6 Others On Chinatown Sidewalk

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A 70-year-old man was charged with seven counts of failure to yield to pedestrians after he backed his minivan onto a sidewalk, fatally striking a man and injuring six others in Chinatown on Monday night.

NYPD Captain Michael R. Gulinello of the 5th Precinct said that just after 6:45 p.m. the driver, Henry Herman, "began to back up on Forsyth Street towards Canal Street in an attempt to park his vehicle," a Toyota Sienna minivan. "As he approached the parking spot, the vehicle accelerated striking several people on the sidewalk near a fruit stand." The NYPD later said that Herman "lost control of the vehicle," which then "jumped the curb," hitting seven people.

Security camera footage, which appears to be sped up, shows the minivan on Forsyth:

According to the Daily News, "Herman mistakenly hit the gas and sped in reverse on to the sidewalk, hit two fruit sellers’ carts, and then slammed into a retaining wall that undergirds an on-ramp for the Manhattan Bridge." An eyewitness told the News that the minivan, "sped up so quickly .… It smashed into the wall, and it pinned one man against the wall. He was caught between the wall and the car."

"It sounded like a big boom. People were screaming," another witness told the Post. "I saw people under the car, a lot of blood."

The deceased victim, who was pronounced dead at the scene, was identified as Deng Zhang Chun, 56, of Elmhurst, Queens. Gulinello said that of the other victims, "Two are listed in critical condition, two are listed with severe injuries and two are treated and refused further medical aid."

Herman, who lives in Monroe, NY, was also charged with failure to exercise due care, unsafe backing of a vehicle, and driving on/across a sidewalk. The NYPD Highway division said that he "knowingly conducted an unsafe maneuver." PIX 11 reports he was issued a desk appearance ticket for a future court date and released.

Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted about the incident, "We cannot accept loss of life on our streets as inevitable. We will continue working harder every day to reach #VisionZero."

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