Driver who plowed into crowd at Lower East Side park, killing 3, charged with drunk driving: NYPD

Driver who plowed into crowd at Lower East Side park, killing 3, charged with drunk driving: NYPD

Cops have arrested the 44-year-old drunk driver who barreled into a Lower East Side park on the Fourth of July, killing three people — including a mother and son — police said Friday.

Daniel Hyden of Monmouth Junction, N.J., about 50 miles from where the crash took place, was charged with drunk driving and for not having a valid license. Other charges may be filed as the investigation continues, cops said.

Eight others were also injured when a holiday celebration turned into a blood-soaked horror show inside Corlears Hook Park on the corner of Water St. and Jackson St. at 8:55 p.m., just minutes before Independence Day fireworks were set to explode over the skies of Manhattan, cops said.

Hyden was speeding through the Lower East Side in his Ford F-150 pickup truck when he blew past a stop sign, jumped a curb, blasted through a fence, and plowed through a crowd of people, horrified witnesses said.

“He plowed into the fence,” witness Juan Roman told the Daily News following the crash. “You could hear the metal shear and the benches collapsing.”

About 30 people celebrating the holiday were in the truck’s path, according to Roman, who watched in horror as Hyden slammed directly into a family of four barbecuing.

Firefighters and police respond after multiple people were struck by a pickup truck inside Corlears Hook Park in Manhattan on July 4, 2024.

Gardiner Anderson for New York Daily News

Firefighters respond after three people were struck and killed by a pickup truck inside Corlears Hook Park on Thursday. (Gardiner Anderson for New York Daily News)

When cops arrived, more than a dozen people lay in crumpled heaps on the ground like broken dolls. A handful of victims were still under the pickup truck.

“I saw at least three people under the truck,” said Roman, 62. “They didn’t have no time to react. They were just crushed.”

Among those killed were Lucille Pinkney, 59, and her 38-year-old son Hernan Pinkney, police sources said. Also among the dead was a woman who was rushed to Bellevue Hospital, but remained unidentified Friday.

Firefighters and police respond after multiple people were struck by a pickup truck inside Corlears Hook Park in Manhattan.

Gardiner Anderson for New York Daily News

Firefighters work at the scene after multiple people were struck by a pickup truck inside Corlears Hook Park on Thursday. (Gardiner Anderson for New York Daily News)

Pinkney and her son died of their injuries within an hour of each other after being rushed to New York Presbyterian Hospital, cops said. A 30-year-old woman was also rushed to New York Presbyterian Hospital with severe injuries about her body and remained in critical condition Friday.

An 11-year-old boy and his 33-year-old mother were among the eight injured, cops said. The child suffered cuts to his eye from flying debris, a police source with knowledge of the case said.

As the victims lay pinned under Hyden’s pickup truck, a “mob” of people pulled the driver out of the car “and started beating him,” Roman said.

Friends of victims embrace after the fatal crash on Thursday. (Gardiner Anderson for New York Daily News)
Friends of victims embrace after multiple people were struck by a pickup truck inside Corlears Hook Park in Manhattan, New York City on Thursday, July 4 2024. (Gardiner Anderson for New York Daily News)

FDNY members arrived on the scene and pulled the group off the driver while others extracted the pinned victims.

“I was in shock,” said Roman. “It’s an image that’s not going to leave me anytime soon.”

Mayor Adams called the fatal crash “a tragic incident.”

“A driver drove into a crowd of people who were just celebrating like so many New Yorkers and Americans are doing right now,” he said as he stood beside NYPD and FDNY officials.

Hyden’s arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court was pending.


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