Taxi Driver Who Crashed in Midtown, Costing Tourist Her Leg, Says He's "Shocked"

The 24-year-old driver says he's feeling "very, very bad" after the crash that cost British tourist Sian Green her leg

By Marc Santia
|  Thursday, Aug 22, 2013  |  Updated 11:59 AM EDT
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Dr. Oz Aids Tourist Hit by Cab Driver

NBC 4 New York

Mohammed Himon (inset right) says he's still in shock after crashing his taxi in midtown Tuesday, causing British tourist Sian Green to lose a leg.

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The taxi driver who struck a British tourist in midtown Tuesday, causing her to lose her leg, says he's still in shock and is praying for the woman's recovery. 

Mohammed Himon, 24, of Queens, told NBC 4 New York Wednesday he's feeling "very, very bad" after the horrific crash.

"I feel sorry about that," said Himon, who immigrated to the U.S. from Bangladesh five years ago. "I always pray for her to God."

"I cannot talk properly. I cannot describe anything. I couldn't sleep for her."

Witnesses told NBC 4 New York that the cab swerved to avoid hitting a bike messenger when it ran up on the curb at 49th Street and Sixth Avenue Tuesday, hitting Sian Green, 23, who had just arrived in New York City for vacation.

Law enforcement officials said investigators are probing whether the bike messenger may have startled Himon by banging on his trunk, and when he turned around, he hit the gas instead of the brake.

Himon would not go into detail about the crash, but said he was struggling to comprehend how it unfolded. 

"Obviously, I keep thinking how it could have happened but honestly I couldn't find any answer. It happened very, very quickly," he said. 

People at the scene, including television personality Dr. Mehmet Oz, jumped into action -- one man took off his belt to make a tourniquet while a halal food cart vendor placed her severed leg on ice in a cooler. 

"He hit the girl, she flew up in the air, her leg was severed right off ... so I just grabbed my belt, went over, lifted her up, put it on, held it," said David Justino, 44, a plumber working nearby.

Oz, a cardiothoracic surgeon whose studios are nearby, arrived on scene after the plumber applied the tourniquet.

The tourniquet "was very smart thinking," Oz said. 

"They saved her life," he said.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Wednesday police are looking for video and sending technicians to determine what happened in the crash, including how fast the driver was going.

"These collisions and accidents take some time to reconstruct, so that investigation is still going forward," he said. The driver has received summonses not related to the crash, and the investigation "is certainly not closed as of yet," Kelly said.

Kelly said Green was sedated Wednesday and that her family was en route from overseas. Himon said he was "feeling very bad" for the parents and wished he could tell them their daughter will "be OK."

"I'm not that type of guy... it's a terrible accident. It can happen with my sister, can happen with my mother, can happen with my wife," he said. 

Police said both Himon and the bicyclist, who suffered minor injuries, were given alcohol breath tests at the scene and neither tested positive, a law enforcement official told NBC 4 New York.

--Shimon Prokupecz contributed to this story

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