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BY LINCOLN ANDERSON | In a frightening incident that could have easily resulted in tragedy, a cab driver lost control of his vehicle at Canal and Greenwich Sts. around 7 p.m. Tuesday.
The S.U.V.-style cab was making a left from Canal onto Greenwich when it was struck in the right wheel by a blue BMW eastbound on Canal. The impact somehow caused the cabbie to lose control of the taxi, and he went swerving at high speed down Greenwich St., smashing into a concrete planter with a huge boom — the impact pushing the heavy planter about 10 feet, stranding in the middle of the sidewalk (photo below) — then colliding with several more cars or objects, again with thunderous bangs.
The taxi plowed into the rear of a black S.U.V. parked on Watts St. behind the new Zinc Building — sending the black car lurching forward about 20 feet — the taxi finally coming to rest on the curb by a new tree.
Asked what happened, as he sat waiting in his driver’s seat with the air bag partially inflated, the hack — who seemed reluctant to speak, apparently not very fluent in English — indicated with a shrug down toward where his foot was that the hit on his car somehow disabled his breaks or jammed his gas pedal. He seemed O.K., but appeared to have a sore leg.
Similarly, his fare, sitting nearby on a building ledge (above right), had one pant leg rolled up and was rubbing his shin, but seemed all right. E.M.S. arrived within about 10 to 15 minutes.
Witness Richard Harris said, “She hit his wheel — maybe the wheel twisted. Thank God no one was crossing the street.” Another witness said the cab’s axle looked a bit bent. The Beemer was relatively unscathed.
“I think the bumper is kind of grinding against the tire — but I think it’s O.K.,” said Vivian Hung, the car’s driver. She said she had been driving with a child — a friend’s young son — in the car, taking him back to Chinatown. They were both uninjured. She said she had had the light. Asked what her job was, she said, with some irony, “I work for a — transportation company!”