Why Did the Taxi Drive Into the Coffee Shop?

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This is not the beginning of a joke. Late Saturday night, a taxi cab SUV drove directly into a crowd outside of the East Village coffee shop, The Bean. To hear the New York Post tell it, the cab was like a heat-seeking missile: "the cab swerved to avoid an SUV that may have run a red light at First Avenue and East 3rd Street, around 1:30 a.m. The cab then hit two bicyclists and crashed into the Bean Coffee Shop, where it mowed down another man." The Daily News has a similar story, but includes details about the five injured, including a 71-year-old customer inside "the java shop." The city's top two tabloids, along with a handful of local blogs, combine to create a very detailed picture of a wild Saturday night.

EV Grieve has the best photos, courtesy of Vautrin and Stacie Joy, who were on their way home from a photo shoot:

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There are more.

Witnesses seem to be blaming the driver of a Jeep, who may have run a light, surprising the taxi:

The driver, who identified himself to the Daily News as Danny Batista, 19, of the Lower East Side, stopped a block from the crash site. He appeared to be shocked and blamed the crash on the hack. "He was flying up First," said Batista, who was on his way to Katz's deli. "I heard a horn and I looked and I tried to turn and I got hit. I had the light."

Via the Post:

Several witnesses noted that the area had been rife with accidents, with one claiming at least four had occurred in the past month because of a new street configuration.

Neighborhoodr provides the context for complaints about the new First Avenue configuration, pointing to another local blog and a post entitled, "Throw paint on the pavement and hope for the best."

While we hope everyone is okay, and whoever is responsible finds justice, one thing is clear: neighborhood news is very comprehensive in Lower Manhattan! Good work, everyone.


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