Driver arrested for DWI after police say he crashed into holiday crowd, killing 3, injuring 8

WCBS via CNN Newsource

By Zenebou Sylla and Paradise Afshar

New York (CNN) — A man suspected of driving into a crowd, killing three people and injuring eight during an Independence Day celebration, has been arrested and is accused of driving under the influence, New York City police said Friday.

Daniel Hyden, 44, from Monmouth Junction, New Jersey, was charged with aggravated vehicular homicide, eight counts of assault, one count of driving without a license in the second degree and one count of driving while intoxicated, according to the NYPD.

He was additionally charged with three counts of manslaughter in the second degree, three counts of vehicular manslaughter in the second degree, and one count of aggravated vehicular assault, according to a criminal complaint from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

Hyden pleaded not guilty to all the charges during an arraignment hearing Saturday, the DA’s office said.

“This is a very tragic case, and we extend our sincere condolences to all those impacted,” Hyden’s attorney, Tim Pruitt, with The Legal Aid Society, told CNN Saturday. “But Mr. Hyden is entitled to the presumption of innocence and a zealous defense, and at this preliminary stage in the case, we caution the public from making any rush to judgment.”

Hyden’s next court date is scheduled for July 10.

At least three people were killed when a truck drove into a park on Manhattan’s Lower East Side late Thursday, police said.

A group celebrating the holiday was struck by the gray Ford F-150 when it ran through an intersection and into Corlears Hook Park at about 9 p.m. Hyden was driving at “a high rate of speed when he failed to navigate the road and struck 11 pedestrians” inside the park, police say.

Hyden, who told police he had a few alcoholic drinks, was found at the scene of the crash “next to the driver’s side door, bloodied with no shirt or shoes,” the complaint said.

Police said Hyden, who was stumbling on his feet, had bloodshot eyes and a “strong odor of alcoholic beverage on his breath and clothing,” the complaint says.

Pedestrians who witnessed the incident told an officer that Hyden was the only person sitting in the driver’s seat when the truck crashed and there were no other passengers in the vehicle, according to the complaint.

When officers arrived on the scene, one pedestrian was still pinned underneath Hyden’s pickup and emergency responders had to extricate the person from the vehicle, according to the complaint. Multiple people seriously injured in the accident were aided by first responders on scene.

The NYPD identified Ana Morel, 43, on Friday as the third person who was killed after earlier identifying Lucille Pinkney, 59, and Hernan Pinkney, 38, as two of the three victims, officials said. Police say any relationship between the two victims, who share the same last name, is unclear.

One individual remains hospitalized in critical condition with internal injuries, officials said.

Seven of the victims were between 11 and 35, and were taken to hospitals in stable condition, police said. A 30-year-old woman was taken to a hospital in critical condition, according to the NYPD.

Six individuals were treated at various hospitals for pain, abrasions, as well as lacerations to their necks, backs, and faces, the complaint said.

Officials said Hyden’s license had been suspended at the time of the incident for “failure to answer a summons four times on three dates.”

CNN’s Lauren Rapp contributed to this report.

™ & © 2024 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

Share this article: