Van damn! Camper collapses in Clinton Hill after driver crashes into cars

Brooklyn Paper
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Photo gallery

Backing down: The despondent owner of the campervan, which imploded after he crashed into several other cars at Park and CLinton avenues.
Motor-home-wrecker: The collapsed van blocked traffic for hours.
Gum-shoe: The Swiss van owner didn’t have any identification or a license, and police slapped him with three summonses.
Trailer trashed: The inside of the campervan after it caved in — though it seems to have been filled with debris already.
Car-nage: The van did not have license plates.
You should have seen the other guy: One of the cars the mobile home-owner crashed into.

A Clinton Hill man lost his home and his vehicle in one hit on Thursday when he crashed his 1998 Pathfinder Sport into several cars and the entire camper collapsed onto the street.

The driver — a spacey Swiss man sporting a tie-dyed T-shirt with a picture of a cat on it — was turning left from Vanderbilt Avenue to the Bedford-Stuyvesant-bound side of Park Avenue at around 1 pm when he hit a 2015 Infiniti and a 2016 Hyundai, causing the back of his ramshackle mobile home to cave in, witnesses told ace photographer Paul Martinka, who captured the aftermath.

The man said he lives in the van under the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, and was still hoping to save the mobile home’s roof, Martinka said. The gent he did not have a license or identification, and the van did not have any plates.

The Police Department says officers slapped him with three summonses, but couldn’t say what they were for.

The crumpled camper blocked traffic on that block of Park Avenue’s lanes for at least three hours while authorities and drivers waited for tow trucks to cart away it and one of the damaged cars, which was also in pretty gnarly shape, Martinka said.

Reach deputy editor Ruth Brown at or by calling (718) 260–8309. Follow her at
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
I hate to say this on the air, but this character had it coming to him (if you don't mind my saying so). All too often these days, homelessmen drive their houses carelessly. I'm glad that the police finally took notice to this potentially hazardous situation (even if they, at this time 8/19/16, don't know what to charge him for. Pardon the interruption.
John Wasserman
Aug. 19, 2016, 4:15 pm
Ty from pps says:
I was going to make a joke that this is Tal Barzilai, but at least this guy in the camper doesn't live in his mom's basement in Pleasantville. The camper guy actually lives in Brooklyn.
Aug. 19, 2016, 5:40 pm
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
I hate to be the one to say this, but when the police pulled him over they asked him, "where do you live?"....He said, "right here". Now, I don't want to point my finger at anyone, and so I won't.
John Wasserman
Aug. 19, 2016, 5:44 pm
Jim from Cobble says:
Have fun in jail dorkoff.
Aug. 19, 2016, 9:30 pm
Ian from Andrew says:
The biggest mystery concerns whatever inflated charges the cops can saddle the hippy with. Now Gotham can finally sleep soundly!
Aug. 20, 2016, 1:16 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Ty, I don't drive or even intend to use an RV, and I expect an immediate apology from you for making such a statement or I will have you taken for slander.
Aug. 20, 2016, 3:37 pm
Joey from Clinton Hills says:
Deport him.
Aug. 22, 2016, 10:44 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I cannot possibly be the RV driver because as TY from pps said I have never left my mother's basement.

I'm sure this RV driver put himself in harms way by wishing the WNBA would go away, bike zealot, anti-Israel something or other.
Aug. 22, 2016, 2:36 pm
Freewheeling Frank from your old nabe. says:
Take this camper and our money, Fat Freddy, and score some dope. AND DON'T GET BURNED!
Aug. 22, 2016, 2:54 pm
Jasmine Toodlesinni from Park Slope says:
Ha, just like spider said to the fly!
Aug. 22, 2016, 5:24 pm
Captain Obvious from The Sea of Common Sense says:
Hey, Brooklynpaper please report the facts, check your facts and then report them. This guys van is NOT a "1998 Pathfinder Sport" it's a FORD ECONOLINE wanna know how knew that.......look at the damn photo!
Aug. 23, 2016, 10:20 pm
D Nels from Bushwick says:
Yusef Petrov (b. 1944); Modern Tar Pits, 2003; Mixed Media Installation; In Petrov's masterpiece, the immigrant artist calls to mind the American vacation archetype, road trip to the West, as embodied in California's tar pits and Winnebago recreational vehicles, literally sinking in the asphaltic reality of an oil-based consumer economy all told against the backdrop of the Iraq War. Installed over a period of three weeks under the imposing Brooklyn-Queens Expressway at Classon Avenue, the crash-rated steal and vinyl-coated foam work was famously almost towed by an overzealous NYPD not realizing it was anchored to the roadbed by three 8' concrete footings.
Aug. 31, 2016, 1:10 pm

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