The victim in yesterday's horrible freak car accident on Broad Street has been identified. He was Sorel Deps-Medina, a 70-year-old Queens resident who worked in the financial district as a clerk for the Attorney General's office. Witnesses say Deps-Medina was standing against a wall at 45 Broad Street eating lunch when the driver of a Honda Ridgeline suddenly accelerated off the street and onto the curb, pinning him against the wall.
According to the NYPD, the vehicle was acting as a private security blocker car near the New York Stock Exchange and was moving forward to allow a vehicle to pass when it accelerated and struck Deps-Medina. The driver, identified only as a 50-year-old man, stayed at the scene and was not charged. As is often the case in NYC traffic "accidents," the NYPD immediately announced that no criminality is suspected. A source tells the Post the driver is a retired police lieutenant.
It's unclear whether Deps-Medina's death was caused by a mechanical malfunction or human error. But yesterday one witness told us, "These security trucks have a reputation for driving in an erratic fashion. There is no need for them to be gassing or reversing so quickly. There is normally a rotating traffic gate (for lack of a better term) that is used; not sure what the story is as to why those are not in effect as it would seem much safer given all the pedestrians that are moving in and out of that area."
According to the NYPD, two other pedestrians, a 31-year-old woman and a 62-year-old man, sustained minor injuries and were transported to Beekman Downtown Hospital in stable condition. A witness tells the Daily News the driver "backed the SUV away from the wall, leaving the bleeding Depas-Medina standing in a daze before he collapsed." The News reports that the driver works for T&M Protection Resources, which released a statement saying, "T&M Protection Services is deeply saddened by the tragic vehicular accident."
The security trucks, which are filled with sand, are in place to act as barriers when the bollards on Broad Street aren't functioning. As one witness told us, "The bollards often don’t work — so T&M’s gray pickup trucks, like the one in yesterday’s accident, are driven into place to block the streets instead." Another witness tells the Post, "That was the most f--ked up thing I have ever seen. It scared the s--t out of me. I just saw a guy die in front of my eyes. What if that guy had been me?"
Deps-Medina's only child, 29-year-old Vanessa, tells the News, "He was a great father, a philosopher. He loved to read. He had so much to say about the world."