The police are investigating the horrifying death of a man who was struck by a SUV in Queens and then dragged by another van for 20 miles into Brooklyn. The NYPD, who found a broken iPhone and a Western Union receipt in the man's pockets, have just identified the victim, whose body was extremely damaged: According to CityRoom, the victim was Guido Salvador Carabajo-Jarra, who had just turned 26 on Tuesday.
The incident occurred around 6 a.m. yesterday morning at 108th Street and 51st Avenue in Corona, Queens, and WPIX has surveillance video from the scene (auto-play video also after the jump). In it, you can see a man getting hit by the SUV. The next few cars swerve out of the way, but Gaspar Latune Sanchez's van continues straight ahead. The man's sternum, per the NY Times, "hooked" onto "a steel plate that was part of the van’s undercarriage," and he was dragged all the way to Coney Island. The SUV's driver had stopped to call the police, but when the police got there, there was no body.
The van's driver didn't realize the body had been attached to his vehicle for his journey, in spite of the smell. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Sanchez thought he had hit a pothole; though Sanchez knew the van wasn't operating normally, when he got out to check (twice), he didn't see anything (the News notes that the victim was 5'4" and his body might not have been easily seen). It was only when Sanchez got out on Brighton 10th Terrace, after traveling on the Grand Central Expressway, the Van Wyck, and Belt Parkway, and he made the discovery. The Daily News reports that Sanchez, a freelance deliveryman, said, "You can't imagine the shock I felt when I climbed out of the van and saw the body. I was in shock. My nerves. ... I couldn't look anymore."
It's unclear when Carabajo-Jarra, who lived at 108-23 51st Avenue, died. A police source told the Post, "The head trauma could have killed him from the first hit, but it's unknown if that happened." The police, so far, think this was an accident ; both Sanchez and the SUV driver reportedly have clean driving records.