An Ohio tourist is the second person to lose her leg after a New York City cab driver ran into a crowd of diners after hitting a bicyclist.
Meisha Wallace, 48, of Columbus, lost her leg around 1 p.m. Monday after it was pinned to the wall and the taxi.
Wallace was reportedly enjoying her last day in the city and had stopped to eat at Black Seed Bagels in the Flatiron District when the horrific accident happened – injuring six, including the taxi driver. Three were seriously injured.
Her family told the New York Daily News (NYDN) that the Ohioan has been fighting for her life at Bellevue Hospital ever since.
‘The city opened and you want to come and enjoy the lights while you still can. They would have returned to Ohio [on Tuesday] — and this situation has happened,” Wallace’s stepbrother Barry Riggins, of Brooklyn, told the NYDN.
Another woman, a 32-year-old Mexican woman who has not been identified, also lost her leg on Tuesday.
Bystander Marcos de Ogueta said one of the women’s thighs was mostly gone, while the other had a disfigured ankle and lost her leg below the knee, according to the report. New York Post†
Another bystander reportedly wrapped his belt around one of the women’s bones in a makeshift tourniquet. It is not clear which woman is involved.
The two women were pulled from under the taxi by 15 to 20 strangers after they lifted the 4,000-pound car from them.
Meisha Wallace, 48, of Columbus, ((pictured) lost her leg after being pinned to the wall and taxi around 1pm Monday
Wallace was reportedly enjoying her last day in town when the taxi driver crashed into Black Seed Bagels in the Flatiron District and has been fighting for her life at Bellevue Hospital ever since.
Wild footage shows the moment a group of New Yorkers heroically lifted a taxi from pedestrians mowed down in a crash
Another woman, 31, also from Columbus, was injured, as was the cyclist, 50.
The 60-year-old driver is said to have told authorities that the brakes failed when he entered Broadway at West 29th Street, causing him to hit a bicyclist and hit diners on the sidewalk.
The NYPD is still investigating the accident and will investigate the possible malfunctions of the car, as well as the possibility of an operator error.
Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther, 47, has asked the public to keep the injured in “prayer” and said he had spoken with Adams about how the families could come to the Big Apple to be with their injured loved ones.
Riggins also said that Wallace is an “incredibly wonderful and vibrant” person whose smile “just brightens up and brightens the room.”
“Everyone just wants to be in her presence,” he told the NYDN.
It’s unclear if Wallace’s family will travel out of state to the Big Apple to be with her.
The family is reportedly quite upset about the amputation, as Riggin’s father Benjamin died two days after his arm was severed in a crane accident in Manhattan’s Chinatown in November 1999, he told the NYDN.
“It’s even worse when it’s a real visitor who just comes here to have fun and these tragedies happen to her,” he told the NYDN.
New Yorkers have experienced continued traffic hazards because high-traffic areas like Herald Square — which was just a few blocks from the bagel shop near West 29th Street — were dangerous.
Mayor Eric Adams, 61, said the scene was “disturbing” and was caused by “human recklessness and street design.”
“Road safety is our top concern, and we will continue our efforts to ensure that our streets are safe,” he said.
“We should not accept, and I will not accept, a reality in which New Yorkers die from traffic violence.”
Street safety advocates have called on the city’s transportation department to limit traffic flow near busy Broadway, but Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez on Tuesday urged drivers to be more careful, the NYDN reported.
A Mexican woman, 32, also had her leg amputated. A bystander said one of the women’s thighs was mostly gone, while the other had a disfigured ankle and lost her leg below the knee. Another bystander reportedly wrapped his belt around one of the woman’s bones in a makeshift tourniquet
Three people were transported to Bellevue Hospital in critical condition, including the taxi driver, who reportedly passed out and was “completely in shock.”
A bicycle is mutilated after a taxi crashes on Broadway and jumps a curb
“There is an epidemic of reckless drivers across the country,” he said. The commissioner also cited the pandemic as one of the reasons the numbers are rising.
More than 100 people were killed by motorists in the City That Never Sleeps in 2022.
However, the department has plans to remodel several areas along Broadway, Union Square and Columbus Circle, the NYDN said. It plans to narrow streets, add pedestrian plazas and loading zones, to make it easier for trucks to park and for citizens to cross.
It is not yet clear when the road works will start and be completed.
In addition, Adams said he was honored by the group of New Yorkers who rushed to help the women.
“No matter how hard things are, no matter how many people say New Yorkers can be rude and New Yorkers can be bad, when it’s time to help each other, we’re here. And I just want to personally thank you,” he said, according to ABC 7 New York.
John Chell, deputy police chief for the NYPD, also called the community’s willingness to help a “remarkable scene.”
Investigators are investigating the crash to see if the driver had a medical condition or if the car’s brakes were malfunctioning, as the driver said in his initial statement, according to ABC 7. Investigators are also investigating whether it was an operating error.
The driver, however, is said to be in good standing and a valid taxi driver’s license, but was in ‘complete shock’ and passed out on the spot.
According to the police, it was an accident, but what exactly happened is under investigation.
The yellow cab was on West 29th Street, heading south to Broadway, when it collided with the bicyclist, Chell explained.
The taxi crossed a bike path, jumped the curb and landed on the narrow sidewalk, hitting several pedestrians before crashing into the side of a building.
A taxi jumped over a curb in New York’s Flatiron District on Monday, seriously injuring six people.
“While this is happening, a remarkable scene took place,” Chell said. “About 15 to 20 New Yorkers tried to take this cab off these women.”
The cabin was a Toyota SUV, reportedly weighing between 4,200 and 4,300 pounds.
Scene video and photos for Black Seed Bagel and Juice Generation show the taxi on the sidewalk and some of the factory barriers damaged. A mangled bicycle was left on the bike path.
The Emergency Management Department advised people to expect traffic delays, road closures and emergency services in the Broadway and West 29th Street area. Drivers must find an alternative route.
A witness to the accident told the New York Post that the taxi driver first hit a cyclist before hitting the women eating at Black Seed Bagel.
“Everyone rushed and lifted the taxi of two women who were trapped underneath,” the witness told the publication.