After a single father was killed by a U-Haul driver who went on a rampage through Brooklyn Monday morning, his heartbroken family launched an online fundraiser to help them through the traumatic time.
YiJie Ye succumbed to his injuries at an area hospital Monday evening after the driver struck him while he was riding his e-bike near Fifth Avenue and Bay Ridge Parkway for a shift as a food delivery driver.
A GoFundMe set up by Ye’s cousin, Jessy Chen, has raised over $40,000 of its $50,000 goal so far.
Chen said Ye came to the United States from FuZhou, China 18 years ago, describing him as a kind man who worked day and night to provide for his three teenage children, twin boys and a daughter.
“All our family members are heartbroken by his death. Rest in peace, cousin Ye, you will always be remembered,” Chen wrote on the GoFundMe page.
Another victim of the violent attack, Mohamed Abdelmagid, similarly launched a GoFundMe to help fund medical bills for fractures in his rib cage, along with his right wrist and foot.
Police believe the accused, Weng Sor, drove the U-Haul all the way from his home in Las Vegas and had a psychotic break after engaging in an altercation with his son who lives in the Bay Ridge area.
According to a police timeline of events, the rampage began at 10:50 a.m. when the driver first plowed into a pedestrian at 55th Street and Fourth Avenue in Sunset Park before going on to mow down seven others in Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights.
A police officer was also injured in the mayhem.
The driver was apprehended about 30 minutes later near the Battery Tunnel.
Chief of Detectives James Essig said that Sor has eight prior arrests dating back to 2002, including evading police, domestic battery, battery with a deadly weapon and more in Las Vegas.
Prior to Monday’s rampage, Essig said Sor was stopped in South Carolina on Feb. 5 by highway patrol police for reckless driving and marijuana possession.
Three days later, on Feb. 8, he was stopped again by the NYPD, this time on the Belt Parkway after he had visited his son. During this stop, he was issued summonses for speeding and operating a commercial vehicle on the Belt Parkway.
Essig said that Sor allegedly decided to run amok through the borough on Monday after he was set off by an invisible object coming toward his truck.
The 62-year-old is now facing charges of one count of murder in the second degree and seven counts of attempted murder.