1 Pedestrian Killed, Several Others Injured When Out-of-Control Minivan Hits Them: NYPD

The driver has been arrested, police say

What to Know

  • A pedestrian was killed and several others were injured when a vehicle mowed into a crowd in Chinatown Monday, officials say
  • Police sources say it doesn't appear to be intentional; the driver told police he thought he was in park mode
  • The street was closed as police investigated

A 70-year-old minivan driver trying to parallel park allegedly struck a crowd of pedestrians in Manhattan Monday evening, killing one of them and injuring six others, police say, and he now faces charges in the deadly crash. 

The driver, later identified by police as Henry Herman, somehow lost control while trying to park near Canal and Forsyth Street just before 7 p.m., the NYPD said. The minivan jumped the busy sidewalk, and while in reverse, crashed into a fruit stand, killing a man and injuring six other pedestrians. Two of those pedestrians were critically injured and four others had non-life threatening injuries. They were taken to Bellevue Hospital. 

Chun Deng Zhang, 56, was identified as the man killed in the crash. He was a Queens resident.

Two other people on the scene refused medical assistance, the FDNY says.

Two senior police officials say Herman claimed he thought he was in park and hit the gas pedal, the officials said. He stayed on the scene, and there were no indications it was deliberate. 

Herman had one passenger in his vehicle when the crash happened, NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said Tuesday.

Herman was arrested Monday night on charges of failure to yield to pedestrians and failure to exercise due care. He was given a desk appearance ticket. It wasn't immediately clear whether he had an attorney who could comment. 

The DMV said Herman has a full state license and no crashes or driving convictions on his record. 

People who knew Zhang said he was a family man often seen working on his huse.

"Every day he's always working on this house," said neighbor John Agudelo. "The property value went up in this neighborhood because of him." 

Mayor de Blasio tweeted Monday night that a full NYPD investigation is underway. 

"We cannot accept loss of life on our streets as inevitable," he said. "We will continue working harder every day to reach #VisionZero." 

Jonathan Dienst contributed to this report. 

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