MANHATTAN – Witnesses say a black Mercedes was speeding before a violent collision on the FDR drive when the driver missed the offramp for East 96th Street on the Upper East Side and slammed into a barrier. Then, right after the crash, witnesses tell Upper East Site the driver and two passengers got out of the car, jumped a small fence and ran from the scene.
“Basically, they were going like 100 miles per hour,” a witness who didn’t want to be identified told Upper East Site, adding the driver “didn’t make it [to the offramp] in time and they crashed… and then all of them ran off.”
Photos taken by the witness and given to police show the trio who bailed out of the Mercedes with temporary New Jersey tags— one of them in orange shorts and a white t-shirt.
“They all hopped out of the car– they were all kids,” the witness said. “I saw them and they had to be like 16 [years old].”
As NYPD officers investigated the crash, two men approached the scene, walking up the offramp— the witness says they were not passengers in the Mercedes.
One of the men told officers he was the driver’s cousin but didn’t elaborate on what happened, then both men waited nearby as the car was towed away. Both of the Mercedes’ front airbags deployed in the crash, likely saving the driver and passenger from serious injuries.
The second man told Upper East Site the three people in the car had went to the hospital— but it’s not clear to which hospital they would have gone.
Police on the scene told Upper East Site the driver of the Mercedes and passengers had been spotted on York Avenue— south of the scene of the crash and Metropolitan Hospital on East 97th Street, the closest Emergency Room— but the trio was not stopped or questioned since the car had not been reported stolen.