29-year-old driver accused of striking pedestrians in Midtown identified

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Tuesday, August 22, 2023
29-year-old driver charged for crashing into pedestrians in Midtown
The 29-year-old suspect was silent Tuesday as she was escorted out of the police precinct in handcuffs. Anthony Carlo has more.

MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- The woman accused of striking a group of pedestrians in Midtown over the weekend has been identified.

Imani Lucas, 29, is charged with seven counts of attempted murder, assault, reckless endangerment, leaving the scene of an accident causing serious injury and reckless driving.

She told police she prayed to God and closed her eyes as she blew a red light, NYPD sources said Monday.

Lucas was silent Tuesday as she was escorted out of the police precinct in handcuffs.

Police say she was heading eastbound on West 36th Street on Sunday night when she hit the pedestrians standing on a Midtown sidewalk. The victims ranged in age from 24 to 61.

Of the seven victims, the most seriously injured was a 34-year-old tourist from Italy. Giulia Gardani reportedly had to undergo a lengthy surgery for a cervical spine injury.

The others were miraculously left with leg wounds, cuts and bruises.

Authorities say after Lucas hit the victims, she drove her Honda Accord through the Midtown Tunnel and ended up crashing into two cars on the Long Island Expressway just east of 188th Street.

She does not appear to have been intoxicated and the collision does not appear deliberate or terrorism-related, authorities said.

Police said Lucas had a psych evaluation and was being examined for mental health issues.

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