A taxi passenger and two NYPD officers suffered minor injuries Thursday night when the driver rear-ended a police cruiser then careened off of Madison Avenue, crashing into a scaffolding at an Upper East Side construction site, police say. It’s not clear whether speed was a factor in this wreck, however, the vehicle involved has a history of speeding, according traffic violation data reviewed by Upper East Site.
It was just after 8:15 pm, when the driver of the Toyota Camry yellow cab— which was going northbound on Madison Avenue between East 85th and 86th Street— rear-ended an NYPD cruiser, according to police, then swerved to the right, sending the taxi slamming into a construction fence beneath the sidewalk shed.
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Inspectors with the Department of Buildings emergency response team were quickly on the scene of the crash, evaluating the structural integrity of the scaffolding surrounding The Bellemont— the sprawling luxury condominium under currently under construction at the corner of East 86th Street and Madison Avenue.
Moments after the collision, a witness says he saw the two shaken-up passengers still in the back of the cab. One taxi passenger, a 25-year-old woman, was taken to the hospital with minor injuries, according to investigators, as well as the two police officers whose cruiser was struck from behind.
Later at the scene, the rear passenger side door of the car had been left open, apparently an afterthought in the injured passengers’ haste to flee the banged-up vehicle.
According to New York City traffic summons data, the wrecked taxi had received a total of seven violations for speeding in a school zone since 2019— including near Park Avenue and East 83rd Street— not far from the scene of Thursday night’s wreck.
Since the cab part of a fleet and is not owner-operated, there is no way to know whether the taxi driver responsible for the violations was involved in the violent collision.
This is the second time in just over three months that an out-of-control yellow cab has slammed into scaffolding outside a building on the Upper East Side.
Back in June, a taxi slammed into the Chase bank at the corner of East 79th Street and Third Avenue, sending part of the sidewalk shed crashing down, injuring two people. At the time, witnesses said that taxi was speeding before the crash.
The Department of Buildings tells Upper East Site the collision knocked three metal support poles from the sidewalk shed off of their base, but did not compromise its structure. A construction fence was also damaged in the crash. Repairs are expected to be completed on Friday.