Livery Cab Passenger Dies in Alleged Drunk Driving Crash on New Year's Day: NYPD

A woman has died after an alleged drunk driver struck the livery cab she was riding in on New Year's Day in the Bronx, according to police.

Authorities say a Dodge Charger read-ended the Mercury Marquis at about 8:15 a.m. while it was stopped at a red light at the Cross Bronx Expressway and Rosendale Avenue, police said.

Pamela Pimentel, the 27-year-old woman who was sitting in the back seat, was severely injured and taken to Jacobi Hospital, where she later died. The 54-year-old cab driver was taken to Einstein Hospital in stable condition.

Witness Ralph Dorismond recalled of the crash aftermath, "The trunk was just gone, totally pushed in. I'm saying to myself seeing it, 'I hope nobody was in there.'" 

Pimentel's grieving family visited the site of the crash later Friday, kneeling at the street corner where flowers were placed in the woman's memory. 

The injured cab driver spoke to reporters through a union representative Friday, and described being knocked unconscious as a Dodge Charger rear-ended his car.

"The only thing he remembers is the boom when the car hit him," said Fernando Mateo of the Federation of Taxi Drivers as he stood alongside the driver, who still had a neck brace on. 

Police say 37-year-old Hernan Vega, the driver of the Charger, stayed on scene and was charged with vehicle manslaughter, operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and criminally negligent homicide. He and a 29-year-old passenger were taken to Jacobi Hospital for minor injuries. 

The injured cabbie had strong words for Vega, according to Mateo.

"He says he would tell the driver of that other car, 'You're a murderer,'" he said. 

It was not immediately clear if Vega had an attorney.

-- Checkey Beckford contributed to this report. 

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