Stolen SUV causes multi-car pileup in Canarsie, 14 injured

multi-car pileup
The scene of the crash at East 87th Street and Avenue M, which injured 14 people — including 10 occupants of an MTA bus.
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

Three teenagers stole an SUV and caused a multi-car pileup during a high-speed chase in Canarsie, leaving 14 people injured on Thursday evening, according to police. 

The alleged teen carjackers took the Toyota Highlander near East Flatbush, before spinning through Brooklyn’s street — causing police to briefly give chase, before peeling off at around 6 pm to avoid involvement in a potential collision. 

Minutes later the teens ran a stop sign at E. 87th Street and Avenue M in Canarsie, striking an MTA bus — which was then forced into oncoming traffic, where it collided with a westbound BMW SUV, causing both vehicles to end up on the sidewalk, according to police. 

The three teens, the female driver of BMW, nine bus passengers, and the bus driver all sustained non-life-threatening injuries in the crash, police said. 

“The firefighters were working to cut the woman out of the BMW,” said Kim Stevens, a Canarsie resident. “It is a miracle she survived.”

Police arrested the 16-year-old driver of the ill-gotten Toyota on a slew of charges, including grand larceny, reckless endangerment, and fleeing an officer in a motor vehicle. Cops also charged the driver and one of the 17-year-old passengers on a trio of other charges — criminal possession of stolen property,  unauthorized use of motor vehicle, and unlawful possession of marijuana, according to police. 

An MTA bus collided into oncoming traffic with an BMW during the multi-car pileup.

One E. 87th Street resident recalled the screeching noise disrupting the otherwise calm neighborhood, and the carnage of the crash’s aftermath. 

“I was in my house, and I heard a loud bang,” said William Samuels. “I came out and I see the bus and the BMW leaning against a brick wall of the house and people were screaming.”

Another neighbor said the multi-car pileup lead the cars to look as if they were ready to burst into flames, and speculated about the injuries sustained by the commandeered Toyota’s teen driver. 

“The one kid had a broken leg, cops pulled the other out and arrested him. It was almost like they were chasing them,” said Esther Sullivan of E. 87th Street.

A third Canarsie resident expressed his awe at the peculiar situation — and joked about the potential legal settlements the bus passengers may be entitled to.  

“This is pure chaos, it is 6 in the evening, I’ve never seen anything like this over here,” said Roger King. “There are about to be a lot of rich people on the bus.”