NBC 4 New York
Mohammed Himon, the driver who crashed the cab into a British tourist in midtown, forcing her leg to be amputated, will not be able to operate a taxi for a month, officials say. Marc Santia reports.
The cabbie who struck a British tourist in midtown Tuesday, causing her to lose her leg, has surrendered his taxi driver's license but won't take responsibility for the crash.
Mohammed Himon, 24, pleaded guilty to suspension summons Friday and won't be driving his cab for the next 30 days. The Queens cabbie was suspended by the Taxi and Limousine Commission for accruing more than six points on his New York driver’s license, according to officials.
At a news conference Friday, Himon said he wouldn't take responsibility for the crash that severed Sian Green’s left leg. He apologized again Friday outside the hospital where Green is recovering, but blamed the bike messenger who banged on his taxi seconds before the crash.
"It doesn’t mean I’m a bad driver," he said.
Himon's yellow cab ran up on the curb at 49th Street and Sixth Avenue Tuesday, hitting Green, 23, who had just arrived in New York City for vacation.
Himon has maintained that the messenger was angry at him and banged on his car before the crash. The driver the noise startled him into hitting the accelerator and running up on the curb and hitting the woman.
Investigators are still probing whether the bike messenger startled Himon into hitting the accelerator. Fernando Mateo, the spokesman for the Federation of Taxi Drivers, said bicyclists needed to be held accountable.
"When you’re crossing the street, a lot of times it’s not the cars you're worried about, it's the speeding bike coming down the road," he said. "We need to make sure that New York City is a place where cars, and pedestrians and cyclists can safely interact with one another."
Liesl Chang, general manager of the Zipments courier company in New York, said safety is a priority for bike messengers. She said they shouldn't all be lumped together because of one wreck.
"Everybody wants to do their job in the most efficient way possible and the safest way possible," Chang said.
Meanwhile, Green is still in the hospital. A plumber used his belt as a tourniquet on her severed leg after the accident, but the limb was still amputated below the knee. Her right leg was also badly wounded but is expected to regain most of its functionality with time and physical therapy, according to doctors.
Himon and Mateo announced Friday that they set up a fund to help with Green’s recovery and had already raised $3,000.
Green’s parents said in a statement Thursday that they hope she is on her way to recovery. They also thanked those who helped her after the crash, TV personality Dr. Mehmet Oz, who was on scene because his office is nearby.
-- Marc Santia contributed to this report.