Cops: Drugs behind deadly wreck

July 21, 2008 8:42:06 PM PDT
One person was killed and two others injured in a fiery crash in Lower Manhattan Monday.The accident happened near the Staten Island Ferry terminal in Battery Park around 5 p.m.

Police and fire officials could be seen trying to extricate someone from the car. Authorities say the driver, traveling south on South Street and believed to be on drugs, passed a bus and collided with two motorcycles traveling in the same direction and waiting to make a turn. The car crushed the bikes before smashing through concrete barriers near the ferry terminal.

A 39-year-old man on one of the motorcycles was pronounced dead at the scene. His body was thrown from the bike in one direction, his helmet in the other. The motorcycle was pinned and dragged at least 100 feet under the car.

Nick Parada arrived just as the motorcycle burst into flames.

"It was an inferno," he said. "A lot of flames, a lot of fire all over the place. The bike was completely engulfed in flames."

The second motorcyclist, a 28-year-old man, was rushed to Bellevue Hospital in critical condition.

The 31-year-old driver of the car was taken to Bellevue in serious but stable condition. He is expected to survive.

Police say he will be charged with driving under the influence. They say they are waiting for test results to determine what type of drugs he was on.

Investigators also believe the driver was speeding.