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An allegedly drunken livery cab driver hopped the sidewalk in Sunnyside Sunday morning, killing one man before plowing into a row of parked cars in front of a flower shop, according to eyewitnesses and police.
“It’s really heartbreaking,” said 19-year-old John Calle, whose family had the flower shop open all night for Mother’s Day. “He was in agony.”
At about 2:30 a.m., police responded to a call of a pedestrian struck at Greenpoint Avenue and 46th Street.
When they arrived, they found a 24-year-old Hispanic man unconscious after he was struck by a car while standing on the sidewalk, according to the NYPD.
Avedis Sayesh, a 58-year-old man from Brooklyn, was arrested at the scene and charged with vehicular manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and driving while intoxicated, police said.
The Sayesh had a blood alcohol level of .11, twice the legal limit, when he allegedly plowed into Gabriel Hernandez, the New York Post reported.
Sayesh was driving a cab bearing a Gateway company logo, according to eyewitnesses.
A man who picked up the phone at the livery company said he had heard about the accident and said that it was out of character for Sayesh.
“I’m telling you he was a good driver,” the man said.
Calle and family member Victor Arpi both said the victim was walking with another person who was not injured.
After Sayesh hit one of the men near the corner and smashed into three cars belonging to Calle’s family and friends, he attempted to walk away from the scene, they said.
As bystanders walked Sayesh back to the flower shop to wait for police, he apparently apologized while the man he allegedly hit screamed in agony, his legs badly injured, according to Arpi and Calle.
“It was not easy to see,” Calle said. “You can’t just walk away after you hit someone.”
Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4566.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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