Driver accused of killing 3 and injuring 8 while drunk driving denied bail

Driver accused of killing 3 and injuring 8 while drunk driving denied bail

A Manhattan Criminal Court judge has denied bail for Daniel Hyden, a 44-year-old man accused of killing three people and injuring eight others while driving drunk on the Fourth of July. The tragic incident occurred on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, where Hyden allegedly drove his pickup truck into a crowd celebrating Independence Day.

Judge Robert Mandelbaum made the decision to hold Hyden without bail during an arraignment hearing on Saturday. Hyden, a resident of South Brunswick, New Jersey, faces multiple charges, including three counts of vehicular homicide and eight counts of assault recklessly causing serious injury with a weapon. Additionally, he is charged with driving while intoxicated and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.

If convicted, Hyden could face more than 25 years in prison. The charges stem from an incident where Hyden, who is also a substance abuse counselor, allegedly drove a gray Ford F-150 pickup through an intersection at Water Street and Cherry Street in Manhattan. He then plowed through a fence and into a crowd at Corlears Hook Park, striking 11 people, including several members of a family enjoying a picnic.

The victims who lost their lives in the crash have been identified as Lucille Pinkney, 59, her son Herman Pinkney, 38, and Ana Morel, 43. Police responded to the scene within three minutes of the accident and found four people trapped beneath the F-150. One of the injured individuals remains in critical condition, while six others are in stable condition.

Witnesses at the scene held Hyden down until police arrived and arrested him. Hyden refused to take a breathalyzer test, prompting police to draw blood to test for drugs and alcohol. During the arraignment, prosecutors revealed that Hyden was driving on a suspended license due to multiple ignored summonses. He also has a history of prior arrests, including a February incident where he was charged with harassment and assault after striking a teacher. Additionally, Hyden has a 2015 arrest in Wisconsin for driving under the influence, for which he pleaded guilty to a traffic offense.

Hyden’s actions on the night of the crash have left a community in mourning. Eyewitnesses described the chaotic scene as Hyden’s truck sped through the intersection, crashed through two sets of fences, and struck the pedestrians. Surveillance video obtained by Eyewitness News shows the truck driving eastbound down Water Street at a high rate of speed before the crash.

Police traced Hyden’s steps prior to the crash to a boat party on Pier 36, where he was reportedly denied entry for being too drunk. After a heated dispute with a bouncer, Hyden left the location and later caused the fatal crash. Law enforcement officials estimate that Hyden was driving at about 40 mph when he crashed through the fence and into the crowd.

The community has been deeply affected by the tragedy. Diamon Pinkey, the son of Lucille Pinkney, expressed his grief, saying, “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 neighbor described the scene, saying, “Once he 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 that we all know. The Lower East Side bands together.”

Hyden’s background as a substance abuse counselor and author of the 2020 book “The Sober Addict” adds a layer of irony to the situation. The book is described as “a practical guide on how to effectively live and cope with the dysfunctional, lifelong disease of addiction.” Despite his professional background, Hyden’s actions on the night of the crash have left a lasting impact on the community and the families of the victims.

The case has drawn significant attention, with many calling for justice for the victims. Crystal Jimenez, a community member, expressed her feelings, saying, “I just say karma will come at you. What goes around comes around. And I just pray God has mercy on your soul.”

As the legal proceedings continue, the community remains united in their grief and determination to seek justice for the victims. The tragic incident serves as a stark reminder of the dangers of drunk driving and the devastating impact it can have on innocent lives.

Source: UPI, WABC

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