A New York City healthcare worker died at the hospital where he worked after an alleged drunk driver struck him just blocks away.
The family of Daniel Crawford on Tuesday mourned the lab technician and said the 22-year-old driver who fatally hit him last month should not be out on bail because he cut Crawford's "beautiful life" short.
Crawford's aunt, Joann Thomas, says she considered him a son. She described how his niece's body was brought into Queens Hospital Center and how his coworkers were devastated to see him. They had no idea the man who they threw a birthday party for months earlier would die there.
"When I got that phone call. That’ll be a memory that will always, always be a heartbroken memory for me," Thomas said.
The 52-year-old frontline worker was struck by a Mercedes Benz driven by Alamin Ahmed on Nov. 20, according to the Queens District Attorney's Office. Ahmed was allegedly traveling at 97 miles per hour when he struck Crawford's vehicle as he was heading to the hospital.
Authorities say surveillance video showed Ahmed blowing through a red light at Parsons Boulevard and Union Turnpike at the time of the crash. A breathalyzer test showed that Ahmed's alcohol level was way above the legal driving limit.
Video from the crash scene also showed a man believed to be Ahmed performing a field sobriety test for police officers before he was placed in handcuffs. Ahmed is facing multiple charges including manslaughter and DWI. His attorney, Jeff Cohen, says Ahmed has pleaded not guilty and is now out on bail.
"This guy is walking around free. He’s walking around free. He should not be out. He took a life a beautiful life," Thomas reacted.
All Thomas can do now is try to hold on to the memories of her niece, a man who lived to help others. Crawford's coworkers are now trying to collecting money for his funeral that is set to take place Thursday.