Suspected drunk driver crashes into Lower East Side Manhattan park, killing 3 and injuring 7

LOWER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) — Daniel Hyden, 44, has been charged with a series of charges, including multiple counts of manslaughter, after three people were killed and eight others injured in a suspected drunk-driving crash.

The accident happened just before 9 p.m. Thursday evening at 645 Water Street on the Lower East Side.

Eyewitness News has obtained exclusive surveillance footage showing the truck speeding east on Water Street.

Officials said the truck drove through the intersection of Water and Cherry Streets, struck a fence and then drove through a crowd that included a family who were having a Fourth of July picnic.

A law enforcement official estimates the suspect, 44-year-old Daniel Hyden of South Brunswick, New Jersey, was driving about 40 mph. It’s unclear where he was reportedly drinking before driving through two fences and striking pedestrians.

Hyden was charged with eight counts of assault with a weapon, aggravated manslaughter resulting in the death of more than one person, driving under the influence and aggravated driver’s license violation in the second degree.

Daniel Hyden, the man suspected of driving drunk and driving into a crowd, killing three people, has been arrested by police.

According to police, he was driving while his license had been suspended because he had failed to respond to a ticket four times on three different dates.

Emergency responders arrived on the scene within three minutes and found four victims trapped underneath the gray Ford F-150 pickup truck in Corlears Hook Park.

The FDNY worked with NYPD ESU to extract the patients from under the vehicle.

According to police, Ana Morel, 43, was killed along with 59-year-old Lucille Pinkney and her 38-year-old son Herman Pinkney.

“She always made sure that I was the one who understood life in a very serious way,” said Diamon Pinkey, Lucille Pinkey’s son. “She taught me everything, how life works, how it works.”

One injured victim is in critical condition, while six others are in stable condition.

The youngest of the injured is only 11 years old.

“When he made that sharp right turn, so many people started screaming. He turned toward the battlefield, which is where we normally barbecue. It’s a family that we all know. The Lower East Side comes together,” said one neighbor.

According to police, Hyden is suspected of driving under the influence. He was held by Good Samaritans until police arrived.

He refused a breath test and blood was drawn, police said.

NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell was a guest on Eyewitness News Mornings at 10 a.m. to discuss the deadly crash:

NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell speaks to the Mornings@10 team about the Lower East Side crash and other tragedies.

Hyden has been arrested several times before in New York City for assault.

In February, he was charged with assault and harassment after hitting a teacher in the eye.

He was also arrested in 2015 for drunk driving in Wisconsin. He pleaded guilty to a traffic violation and the case was dismissed.

Hyden is a substance abuse counselor and author of “The Sober Addict,” a 2020 book described as “a practical guide on how to effectively live and cope with the dysfunctional, lifelong disease of addiction.”

“I’m just saying karma comes your way,” Crystal Jimenez said. “As you sow, so shall you reap. And I just pray that God has mercy on your soul.”

READ ALSO | Man suspected of drunk driving in fatal nail salon crash charged as community mourns victims

Lucy Yang attended the vigil, where hundreds of people gathered to mourn the victims.


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