Canarsie car carnage: High-speed collision sends six to hospital

Collateral damage: This sports utility vehicle was sent rolling through a brick wall surrounding the Family Group Daycare after a man fleeing police collided with the black vehicle on E. 85th Street on Friday morning.
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A catastrophic crash in Canarsie destroyed a brick wall, totalled two cars, and sent six people to the hospital in the early hours of Sept. 27, all because a driver fled a traffic stop, according to police.

Cops pulled over a driver on E. 85th Street near Glenwood Road at midnight, after an officer allegedly spotted the man driving his white sedan with its headlights off, police said.

When officers got out of their unmarked cruiser and approached the car on foot, the suspect suddenly peeled out down E. 85th Street, heading south at high speed.

A spokesman for the NYPD was adamant that officers did not give chase, but whether they wanted to or not, the officers didn’t have much of a chance, according to Canarsie resident Clive McDonald, who watched from the sidewalk as police pulled the suspect over.

“When the car took off, the police got back in their car and went after them, but he was traveling at such a tremendous speed they couldn’t catch up with him,” he said.

Almost immediately, the suspect caused a minor collision when he ran a red light on Flatlands Avenue, just one block south of where he was pulled over, but that wasn’t enough to stop him from barreling further down E. 85th Street.

McDonald wasn’t able to see what happened next, but he certainly heard it, and quickly followed to witness the grisly aftermath.

“I heard another bang,” he said. “When I caught up with him, it was an incredible scene.”

In his attempt to escape from police, the suspect ran a second red light and collided with a black sport utility vehicle traveling across E. 85th Street on Avenue J, sending the other vehicle rolling through a brick wall and coming to rest on its side in the front yard of Family Group Daycare.

“The SUV was in real bad shape,” said McDonald. “I saw one person hanging down, lifeless. I don’t know if he was dead, but he wasn’t moving.”

Paramedics rushed to the scene and transported two patients to Kings County Hospital and four to Brookdale Hospital, according to a spokesman for the FDNY. None of the victims’ wounds were life threatening, according to an NYPD spokesman.

The driver of the white sedan suffered less-serious injuries than his victims and was arrested at the scene.

During the arrest, police discovered that the suspect didn’t even have a driver’s license, according to an NYPD spokesman.

The owner of the daycare center, Rosamond Harriott, said that no one at the child-care business was injured as result of the accident — only her wall.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at or by calling (718) 260-4514.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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