Police say a Lyft driver died overnight in Queens after a drunk driver caused a serious crash and sent the rideshare vehicle through a brick wall.
Gas station video shows the moment the driver of a Ford Explorer shoots across Eliot Avenue in Maspeth around 3:50 a.m. and t-bones the car. The force of the impact sent the Lyft driver and vehicle through a nearby brick wall. Police said the 48-year-old driver was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Authorities identified the victim as Mohammed Houssain, a father of three.
"The whole family is devastated," said Syed Ahmed, Houssain's brother-in-law. Family members described Houssain as a hardworking, family man who helped his other brother-in-law pay for nursing school.
The youngest of Houssain's children still doesn't know what happened to their father because the family is reluctant to shatter their world.
"I don't know how to tell my niece. She doesn't know why we're crying. She's 8 years old. She can't understand the concept. My nephew's scared. He's in denial and we just don't know where to go from here," Houssain's other brother-in-law, Rezaul Rahman, said in tears.
In a statement, a Lyft spokesperson said, "We are heartbroken by this incident. Our hearts are with the driver's loved ones during this incredibly difficult time, and we are ready to assist law enforcement however we can."
The alleged drunk driver, 22-year-old Erik Chimborazo of Brooklyn, fled the scene but returned a short time later, according to police. He's been charged with DWI, driving without a license and insurance and vehicular manslaughter, according to the NYPD.
The passenger of the Explorer was also injured and taken to a nearby hospital.
Investigators from the Highway Collision Investigation Squad were still in the roadway hours later working to reconstruct the scene. Their investigation is ongoing.