A motorist who deliberately drove down a Manhattan sidewalk, rammed a pedestrian, left the scene and reportedly hit a second person in Brooklyn might not be charged with a crime, according to one of the victims.
Heather Hensl was walking on Beekman Street near William Street on April 13 when a motorist struck her, knocking her to the ground, lacerating her head and fracturing her leg. The driver did not stop. In an email to Downtown Express, Hensl, a 37-year-old physician assistant, said she is on crutches and may require knee surgery, in addition to physical therapy.
The crash occurred near Spruce Street School. Parents of kids who attend the school say it’s not unusual for motorists to use the sidewalk to drive around traffic.
From Downtown Express:
Video viewed by Downtown Express shows the driver backing up several times in order to be able to make the turn onto the sidewalk and head west past a traffic jam.
Captain Mark Iocco, the First Precinct’s commanding officer, said the same car was involved in an accident in Brooklyn about 30 minutes after that incident. The car was pulling into a parking spot and hit an elderly lady, he said at last week’s meeting of the First Precinct Community Council. The elderly woman couldn’t identify her, and could only confirm that the driver was a female, he said.
The suspect has filed an insurance claim. The police are working with the insurance company and they are “investigating her up and down,” said Iocco.
The driver barely missed striking other people on Beekman, including children, who were able to get out of her path, DNAinfo reported. “[The driver] drove on the sidewalk as if it was a lane,” one witness said. “So fast that I turned my head and I didn’t see the car.”