Drunk Driver Kills Three After Crashing Car Into Crowded July 4th Event

A celebration of our nation’s birth quickly turned tragic at a park in the Lower East Side of Manhattan Thursday, when a suspected drunk driver plowed his car into a crowd, killing three people and injuring seven others.

Police said that the crash occurred at 645 Water Street in New York City, a little after 9 p.m. The suspect, Daniel Hyden, a 44-year-old man from South Brunswick, New Jersey, was caught on nearby surveillance video driving at high rates of speed on Water Street.

Police officials say he was driving a truck, which sped through the intersection of Cherry Street and Water Street. He then slammed into a fence, barreling through a crowd, which included a family that was having a picnic to celebrate Independence Day.

While first responders were able to get to the scene within three minutes, they found four people pinned under Hyden’s Ford F-15 pickup truck at Corlears Hook Park..

NYPD ESU and members of the FDNY worked to remove the people who were trapped under the vehicle.

Unfortunately, three people were killed in the crash — 59-year-old Lucille Pinkney, her 38-year-old son Herman Pinkney and another woman in her early 40s.

Another one of Lucille’s sons, Diamon Pinkey, commented to ABC7 NY about his mother:

“She always made sure I was the one that understands life in a very serious note. She taught me everything, how life works, how it works.”

Another victim in the accident is listed in critical condition, and six other people are listed to be in stable condition. The youngest person injured in the case is just 11 years old.

A nearby neighbor told the local ABC outlet:

“Once [the driver] did that hard right turn, so many people started screaming. He turned into the batting field, that’s where we normally barbecue. It’s a family we all know. The Lower East Side bands together.”

Police suspect that Hyden was driving drunk at the time of the accident. Good Samaritans who were nearby at the time pinned him down to keep him there until police officers were able to arrive.

Hyden declined to take a breathalyzer test at the scene, so blood was drawn from him to determine whether he was drunk or not. Once those results come back, officers said it would be determined which charges he’ll have filed against him.

Hyden also has a history of arrests for assaults in New York City. Back in February, he punched a teacher in the face and was charged with harassment and assault.

In 2015, he was arrested in Wisconsin for driving under the influence. He pleaded guilty to a simple traffic offense, and his case was dismissed as a result.

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