Bad crash on Fifth Avenue

for The Brooklyn Paper
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A reckless driver flew through an intersection and slammed into a police car and a parked car on Fifth Avenue early Tuesday morning.

One witness said the car was doing at least 70 mph when it tore through the intersection of Sixth Street, smashing into an Impala before ricocheting into a police car that had paused in the middle of the street.

Andrew Lutes was just about to go into Bar Reis near Sixth Street at around 1:15 am when the black Dodge Charger caught his attention.

“It was only noticeable because it was going so fast the engine was making a sound,” Lutes said.

After the crash, the crazed driver, covered in white dust from the airbag, hopped out of the car and tried to stash a white plastic bag in front of Bar Reis, Lutes said. “His jaw was twitching, he looked out of his mind, he looked like the most unstable guy on earth,” said another witness, Cem Kurtulus.

The driver was arrested at the scene, and the two officers in the squad car were taken to New York Methodist Hospital with minor injuries, according to police.

The driver of the Impala was taken to an area hospital, his condition is not yet known.

“I hope he gets what he deserves,” Kurtulus said, “It’s not right.”

Updated 5:23 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

trans alt from bike nation says:
Can we ban cars from NYC yet, or do we need more of this?
March 15, 2011, 10:02 am
Mike says:
Good thing the police are concentrating their traffic enforcement efforts on giving tickets to bicyclists, the real dangers on our streets.
March 15, 2011, 10:02 am
Joey from Clinton Hills says:
if he had hit a bicyclist instead of a cop car, he wouldn't have been charged with anything.
March 15, 2011, 10:21 am
LOLcat from Park Slope says:
I say we start a group called neighbors for better car lanes (NBCL) and sue to have all these aesthetic nightmares (cars) off the of grand boulevard of 5th avenue. I feel unsafe crossing the street!
March 15, 2011, 1:29 pm
Adina from Sunset Park says:
Point blank, everyone needs to follow the rules of the road. Motorist and Cyclist alike need to respect the road as a dangerous place where everyone needs to be extra cautious in regards to the operation of their respective modes of transportation.

Cars need not be outlawed and the strict laws that are already on the books for cyclists and motorist need to be properly enforced.

If you don't like the rules of Brooklyn and/or how it's run, YOU CAN LEAVE!!
March 15, 2011, 1:39 pm
trans alt from bike nation says:
@Adina: The only thing leaving Brooklyn is YOUR CAR!!! Cars will be banned in NYC, it's just a question of how soon.
March 15, 2011, 1:46 pm
Adina from Sunset Park says:
@ trans alt: I I use mass-transit & do not own a car, ASSumer.
I just believe that people have a right to operate whatever mode of transport they feel suits them best as long as they can obey the rules that go along with them.

By the way, NYC consists of 5 boroughs & no one will be banning the use of cars in all 5 boroughs. If this becomes the law in Manhattan then so be it, but I am talking about Brooklyn.
No ones banning the use of cars in Brooklyn, so again I say especially to you "If you don't like the rules of Brooklyn and/or how it's run, YOU CAN LEAVE!!"
March 15, 2011, 1:58 pm
Al from Park Slope says:
Well Im a little tired of those elitist bikers who near run me over when I try to cross the street or for the 2 times a biker smacked my window (the other time they spit on my window for my crime of waiting for traffic to pass so I could parallel park my car on 5th avenue. Can someone explain to me in sensible terms what exactly I could have done different while waiting to park the car to have made those 2 bikers satisfied while I try to park a car so that my car does not get slapped or spit on.... besides of course committing the incredulous crime of owning a car?????

These bike riders complain how cars need to share the road yet their biking etiquette is quite dispicable if you ask me!!!!
March 15, 2011, 1:59 pm
Hank from Park Slope says:
Al, I've seen you drive and think they should take your license away.
March 15, 2011, 2:20 pm
Mona from Bay Ridge says:
Adina, I liked Brooklyn better before I knew you existed. Please leave.
March 15, 2011, 2:21 pm
Adina from Sunset Park says:
Hi Mona, been here all my life as has my mother and her mother before her sooooo, YOU LEAVE!

I chose to speak my opinion about a situation that needs a resolution, you chose to attack me, WOW adult much??. Post a comment on the article's subject not your feelings about me and save your derogitory comments for a face to face.
March 15, 2011, 2:34 pm
jin from brooklyn says:
adina spell good and will bust you in the lip in a face to face. "adult much" thats funny
March 15, 2011, 3:18 pm
Resident from PPW says:
To all the "ban the car" advocates, you really make me laugh. I would love to meet up with all of you in the future when you have families and other responsibilities in which you will find your automobile useage necessary. I commend you all in trying to change our society, but somehow unless our imperial mayor finds a way to buy another election and become ruler of NYC forever, the city of New York will always have cars. (you know, in retrospect, that is a possibility).
March 15, 2011, 3:33 pm
Rich from Park Slope says:
I don't know why this turned into a conversation about cycling, but you guys need to deal with not having the spotlight on you for each and every single issue and stfu. Go back to the PPW bike lane articles and vent over there.
March 15, 2011, 4 pm
Danny from Queens says:

One way I've found of communicating to cyclists that I'm about to parallel park is using my turn signal.
March 15, 2011, 4:10 pm
Danny from Queens says:
Sometimes flashers if it seems like the turn signal might be misinterpreted.
March 15, 2011, 4:11 pm
Mike says:
Appears the driver may have been a cop:

March 15, 2011, 4:25 pm
T from Kennsington says:
@Adina -- How can you say *both* of these things at the same time?

"the strict laws that are already on the books for cyclists and motorist need to be properly enforced.

If you don't like the rules of Brooklyn and/or how it's run, YOU CAN LEAVE!!"

Doesn't one conflict with the other? So... the way the city is run is that traffic laws are NOT enforced. But if I don't like that, I should leave? Hmm.... But what about the strict laws that you support?
March 15, 2011, 5:23 pm
Cynthia from Clinton Hill says:
I was going to comment on this , but i think im LEAVING!!!
March 15, 2011, 5:47 pm
Truth from BQE says:
The only way to communicate with cyclists is by just hitting them. Many of you cyclists feel that you and your bikes rule and govern the roads. Driving down the wrong way, driving through red lights, driving in the middle of the lane while a car is directly behind you, holding up traffic. Be advised that a 4 wheeled vehicle is heavier than a bike. Eliminate bike lanes. Take the trains or buses. Give back to the MTA.
March 15, 2011, 6:14 pm
jj from park slope says:
cars are a part of city life, anyone not used to this fact is not. bicycle-use is a newer "mass" (ha!) entry and must accommodate cars. cars will not be banned, and bloomberg's redesign of our streets will eventually be reversed. jane jacobs, who wrote the bible on civilized urban living, was not a car fanatic but advocated for open streets used by cars.

this endless debate is nuts. as a pedestrian, before crossing a street: stop, look, listen!
March 15, 2011, 6:24 pm
frank from furter says:
it turns out the driver of the car was police officer and he has been charged with DWI....
March 15, 2011, 8:51 pm
Kalahari Dessert from Ft. Greene says:
Is Jay Z selling crack again? That was a messy business, man.
March 15, 2011, 10:16 pm
S from out of town says:
@truth, a bicycle in the middle of lane, following traffic, not running red lights, isn't causing problems. If you find they're holding you up, push for bike paths like PPW to give them alternative. Or get a bicycle of your own, overtake them.

The middle of a lane is usually the safest place to ride, precisely because impatient people like you can't get past.
March 16, 2011, 3:35 am
Truth from BQE says:
@S, get a bike of my own? No thank you. With the rainy weather that we have today, let me know how that goes for you. I'll sit cozy and warm in my car. As to your comment of driving in the middle of the lane, so that vehicles that can actually move faster than 15mph can be held up, that's as inconsiderate as an obese person blocking the buffet line, because he hasn't made up his mind. Hence the reason why arrogant cyclists are abused by NYPD.
March 16, 2011, 8:42 am
Brownstone from Park Slope says:
Truth from BQE - please read the NYS Traffic Laws. Cyclists have to ride "Safely" to the side of the road, and under the law they are not forced to ride in the DOOR ZONE - that is the space next to parked cars that the door swings out. It is as impossible for a cyclist to avoid an opening door as it is to avoid a swung baseball bat. Therefore, cyclists are riding, as you say "in the middle of the lane." Not quite the middle - but not hugging the parked cars.

A handicapped van driver was convicted by TLC of driving at excessive speed in attempting to force a cyclist into parked cars, first on PPW roadway, before the bike path was built, and then again on 6th Street. Pushing cyclists into danger is illegal.

Adina is right - everyone should be following the rules of the road. But first everyone should know the laws and rules. Truth, you may have good intentions, but you do not know the law.

When it comes to traffic law, the Department of Motor Vehicles does a poor job of education. Regarding bicycle and pedestrian rights and laws, DMV does an abysmal job. Even worse, the NYPD has been handing out totally erroneous information and bad laws. The cops don't know the law, and they utterly refuse to support cyclists or pedestrians when they are following the law. There is no fair enforcement, no protection, no education.

Please, Truth, learn the correct traffic laws before you threaten bodily harm to another person for the wrong reason. It will help them and particularly, it will help you.
March 16, 2011, 10:17 am
trans alt from bike nation says:
Yes, always ride your bike in the middle of lane, and keep the psychos bottled up behind you. A bike is entitled to the ENTIRE LANE, so use it, at the speed you feel comfortable riding.

It's also time to increase the fees to register a car in this state, gas taxes, and other fees 10x, at least, to force drivers to pay for their mayhem on the roads.
March 16, 2011, 10:20 am
Clean Air from Ft Greene says:

"With the rainy weather that we have today, let me know how that goes for you. I'll sit cozy and warm in my car."

How much do you weigh? No matter, you might be going on a Middle East-imposed diet soon, as the price of gasoline is going to skyrocket in the next 1-2 years. But let me guess, you have a really fuel-efficient car, right? I don't feel like indirectly subsidizing your sedentary life-style health care bills.

PS..."driving in the middle of the lane while a car is directly behind you..." It is legal for a bicyclist to ride in the middle of a car lane. Ignorance of traffic regulations (and ignorance in general) is no defense.
March 16, 2011, 10:34 am
Truth from BQE says:
I do agree with @Brownstone, bikes have as much right as a car to be on the road, but the inconsiderate cyclists that purposely stay directly in front of a vehicle is total BS.
@Clean Air, STFU. Legal or not it is common courtesy, as a cyclist to move to the side when a vehicle is approaching from behind. Just as it is courtesy for men to give up their seats if a pregnant woman or elderly enter the bus. You seem to be jealous of a person owning a vehicle, and taking delight in the recent increased gas prices. The price rates do not hurt me, as much as owning a car would you.

P.S What color bike would you be riding today?
March 16, 2011, 4:10 pm
Clean Air from Ft. Greene says:

I've owned many vehicles in my day, all high fuel efficiency. I chose that route so I could save precious, imported fuel so other people might have some and to cause less emissions into the air that might harm the pregnant women you give your seat up for on the bus. Have you ever seen the environs of an oil rig near a village where it's all just black goo and chemicals? Try this:

I don't need a car. I live in New York City where there is the best public transit system probably on earth (definitely the largest and the only one that runs 24/7) and I rent a car (a hybrid where possible) when I travel out of state or overseas. And NYC's also flat and compact and perfect for (people in shape) traveling on a bike.

But who am I talking to? Only an obviously ignorant, self-centered, mean, badly-raised cretin would write: "The only way to communicate with cyclists is by just hitting them."

I wouldn't be surprised to see a full page spread on you in The NY Post someday! Something like: CRETIN KILLS BICYCLIST FROM BEHIND, TRIES TO WADDLE AWAY FROM SCENE AND COPS' HANDCUFFS WON'T FIT WRISTS!!!
March 16, 2011, 4:52 pm
Brownstone from Park Slope says:
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let us remember this article is about a speeding, out of control driver crashing into two cars, one of which happened to be a police car. This all happened in a residential neighborhood, at the the intersection of a one lane street and a two lane avenue.
What the hell was this driver doing?

And now we hear that the driver probably was on drugs and may even be an New York City Police Officer.

Let us get real - nearly one pedestrian a day is killed by a car, truck or bus in this city every day, while zero - repeat ZERO - are killed by bicycles.
We should be indignant about traffic safety, but focus fixing on what is killing us - motor vehicles and out of control drivers.

Let's get the police to take seriously complaints about nuts holding the wheel - get the DA and the judges to hold these people accountable for operating an out of control deadly weapon.

This crash was only the worst of a lot of very bad driving - we were all just very lucky that only one person was hurt. A small proportion of drivers are creating havoc on the streets - why are they not stopped to protect the rest of us?
March 16, 2011, 5:21 pm
Truth from BQE says:
@Clean Air, LMAO!!! I was looking for a "like" button under your comment. Made my day. I'm so sorry for getting under your skin. I could really care less what you think of me. It seems that you spent 6 hours thinking about my appearance. Thank you, I'm flattered, but your opnion doesnt matter to me. When I am on the NY Post, bring a copy so I can sign it for you, unless you're the cyclist.

Signed: The badly-raised Cretin.
March 16, 2011, 7:53 pm
Dave from Fort Greene says:
Sure, there are cyclists who are idiots. There are drivers who are idiots. What's the difference? IDIOT CYCLISTS DON'T GET PEOPLE KILLED!!!

If anyone can show me proof of a fatality or serious injury caused by a cyclist, I'd be HAPPY to read about it. More often than not, cyclists are the ones being killed by cars. While it certainly makes me mad when cyclists run red lights, ride the wrong way down a one-way street, and generally are reckless, it's WAY worse when a driver does the same thing. I wish the NYPD would realize that and focus more on reckless driving.
Aug. 1, 2011, 3:52 pm

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