The hit-and-run taxi driver who was arrested for allegedly fatally striking and dragging a woman in Stuyvesant Town early Saturday morning believed that he had struck a pothole rather than a person, according to his attorney. "We are talking about 3:30 in the morning and he thought it was just a pothole," attorney Marnie Zien said during the driver's Sunday arraignment.
The victim, 44-year old Kenya Flores of the Bronx, was lying in a bus lane on First Avenue near East 17th Street when she was struck. Cops told the Post that Flores had been released from Bellevue Hospital earlier that night, where she had checked herself in citing suicidal thoughts.
The cabbie, 68-year-old John Bangura, struck Flores around 3:35 a.m. on Saturday, accord to the NYPD. He fled the scene, and EMS transported Flores back to Bellevue Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. A preliminary investigation suggested that Flores was lying in the road prior to being struck.
Bangura, who lives in Washington Heights, was arrested and charged with leaving the scene of a crash resulting in death. His bail was set at $5,000.
"I am positive that if he knew he hit someone, he would have stopped,” Bangura's wife, Rose Bangura, told the Post. "He’s not a coward."