New York, NY- A quiet East Village sidewalk was transformed into a what looked like a war zone early Thursday morning when a 30 year old man with a history intoxicated driving plowed onto a sidewalk and crashed into a storefront.
Witnesses told police that the man, identified as Shaun Martin of Queens, was barreling south down Second Ave. around 7 a.m., when the he jumped the curb in his rented 2013 Nissan, then flew over the sidewalk striking a number of objects including a 25 ft. tree, a fire hydrant, a parking meter, a bike stand, and a light pole, the New York Daily News reported. Martin’s vehicle then crashed into a curbside flower stand and a bodega, where three people were working.
The three workers at the bodega were getting the shop ready for a busy Friday when Martin’s out-of-control vehicle violently slammed into the shop striking them and another man riding a Citi Bike, creating chaos on an otherwise serene morning.
The New York Post spoke with witnesses, who said that moments before the accident they say Martin racing with another vehicle, they also estimate that he was driving close to 75 mph, though that cannot be confirmed by police.
“I saw him plowing through the trees,” Diana Kirk one of the witnesses, who was sitting on her fire escape on East 4th Street and Second Avenue told DNAInfo. Kirk also said she saw the white sedan “swerving.”
Police, however, dispute the claims that Martin was racing another vehicle stating that there was no evidence to support those claims.
Mohammed Azad Ali, 63, was one of the three injured workers and was taken to the hospital in critical condition after he suffered a broken leg and ankle. He has undergone surgery and is recovering at Bellevue Hospital
One nearby resident told the Daily News, “His body was covered with flowers.”
Reports indicate that the bicyclist was clipped by a fire hydrant; one witness said his leg was covered in blood but he was still able to stand before he collapsed onto the sidewalk.
Two other bodega employees were injured, but their injuries were not life-threatening.
Also injured were Martin and his female passenger, who initially refused to go to the hospital.
In addition to injuring those five people, Martin damaged numerous bikes and destroyed the entire storefront before his vehicle came to a stop.
Police asked Martin to submit to a breathalyzer test, but he refused so they are unclear if he was intoxicated at the time of the accident, though they found a small amount of hashish in his sock.
Martin has been charged with DWI, even though he refused the alcohol test and was placed under arrest at his hospital bedside
Upon further investigation, DNA Info discovered that Martin has a previous DWI arrest, though it is unclear if he was convicted.
Speed and alcohol are a dangerous mix as this accident demonstrates and can lead to hundreds of thousands of unnecessary injuries and deaths. It isn’t unusual for drunken drivers to leave a path of destruction on their wake.