7 On Your Side hunts for driver after NYC ice cream truck hit and run

An out-of-control ice cream truck smashed into a car in Queens and then dashed, and the incident was caught on camera

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Thursday, July 7, 2022
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It was a bunch of frosty frustration for a Queens car owner after an ice cream truck smashed then dashed, and the incident was caught on camera. Nina Pineda has the story.

ELMHURST, Queens (WABC) -- It was a bunch of frosty frustration for a Queens car owner after an out-of-control ice cream truck smashed then dashed, and the incident was caught on camera.

The truck driver left no note, and his only calling card was thousands of dollars in damage.

It was up to 7 On Your Side's Nina Pineda to track down the stone cold driver.

"I was devastated," owner Charles Clark said. "It knocked my car onto the sidewalk."

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He is in deep debt after his car was smashed into by a driver who hit and split.

He was at work when the driver veered into his Chrysler 300, and the video shows the driver getting out, snapping a picture, picking up the busted bumper, then hopping back in the truck and driving away.

"I haven't heard anything from anybody yet," Clark said. "No note, no nothing."

Clark, an addiction counselor, called 7 On Your Side for help. The estimate to fix his car is more than $15,000, and he wasn't carrying collision insurance to cover the cost.

"It's criminal for you to leave the scene," he said. "I just want you to pay for the damages."

First, we put the video on Instagram, hoping someone would see it on social and drop a dime on the crime.

Then, we both turned up the heat on the cold case, following a flurry of frozen food trucks to four different addresses.

Eventually, at a house in Queens, we found a man who denied even being in the business -- despite boxes of cones and ice cream equipment out front.

He said he had no idea about any ice cream operation and claimed he didn't own an ice cream business.

Despite those denials, a weird thing happened next. Minutes after that conservation, Clark got a phone call from a man who said he owned the ice cream truck that hit his car and wanted to meet up.

"That's when I got the call," Clark said.

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That call led to a meeting at a McDonald's in Queens, where the owner of the truck told Clark the truck was uninsured and the driver wasn't his employee.

He brought a cashier's check for $5,000, which Clark cashed on the spot.

"He would've never called," Clark said. "The camera spooked him, I believe."

Clark is going to continue to pursue the company owner for more money and report the uninsured truck. Meanwhile, he launched a GoFundMe page.

"I appreciate you guys, great work," he said. "Thank you, thank you, thank you. I really appreciate you guys. You are the best."

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