The Boro taxi driver who jumped a Bronx curb on a snowy night in March—killing a five-year-old girl and a 25-year-old man who were standing at a bus stop on Grand Concourse—has been charged with manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, assault, and reckless endangerment.
An indictment made on September 22nd describes the driver's 2007 Toyota Camry as the "deadly weapon or dangerous instrument" of assault.
The cabbie has been identified by the Bronx District Attorney's office as one Emilio Garcia, 44. According to the DA's office, Garcia declined to come forward to the DOT about his epilepsy, and was having a seizure at the time of the fatal crash. Garcia was arraigned in Bronx Supreme Court on October 15th, and could face up to 15 years in prison. Justice George Villegas set Garcia's bail at $100,000.
Garcia was not arrested until six months after the fatal crash, which took place around 6:30 p.m. on the night of March 20th. However, the TLC revoked his license soon after the crash, stating that he was possibly "having a medical episode" at the time of the incident.
Witness and police reports state that Garcia was driving north on Grand Concourse when he struck a parked Subaru near the corner of East 170th Street. He then mounted the curb, fatally hitting Kadeem Brown, 25, and Tierre Clark, 5, and injuring two other pedestrians who were also standing at the bus stop. Brown died on the scene, while Clark was pronounced dead at Lincoln Hospital.
"The car came up driving on the sidewalk," one witness told the News at the time. "After it hit the people, it hit the corner of the building and spun around. The whole front was smashed in."
Graphic video of the collision taken from a nearby bodega shows the driver striking Brown with so much force that he is flung across the street.
According to a spokeswoman for the Bronx DA's office, Assistant DA Morgan Dolan argued in court that Garcia had been aware of his epilepsy, and had also been involved in a minor crash on December 31, 2014—a few months before the crash that killed Brown and Clark. The earlier crash took place at East 149th Street and Brook Avenue in the South Bronx last New Years Eve, and resulted in minor injuries to another driver.
Garcia allegedly continued to drive his taxi for nearly three months without disclosing his condition, and had a seizure on the night of March 20th, when he allegedly "lost control" on the Grand Concourse. Prosecutors say Garcia had been prescribed anti-seizure medication, but was not taking the prescribed doses.
"We are encouraged by [this] news," said Transportation Alternatives' Paul Steely White. "The NYPD must continue to enforce the new citywide 25 mph speed limit consistently across the precincts. When police bring charges against reckless and careless drivers, district attorneys must prosecute vigorously."
The Bronx DA's office has not charged Sonia Rodriguez, the 55-year-old driver accused of backing up onto a curb outside a school in Kingsbridge and killing 8-year-old Rylee Ramos last October.
Garcia's trial has been set for January 21st. The TLC declined to comment on his indictment.