NEW YORK – A van driver was arrested on manslaughter and other charges after plowing onto a Manhattan sidewalk at rush hour, killing a pregnant woman and seriously hurting another woman, police said Saturday.
Keston Brown, 27, also was arrested on charges of felonious assault and driving while intoxicated in the wreck Friday.
The Manhattan District Attorney's office did not immediately return a telephone call Saturday seeking information about Brown's arraignment, and police did not know whether he had a lawyer. No working telephone number could be found for him.
The reason for the crash was unclear, but some witnesses told reporters that the van's driver and a passenger had been driving slowly alongside the women, catcalling them, in the moments before the vehicle lurched forward and slammed into a building.
The wreck killed Ysemny Ramos, a 29-year-old mother of two from Brooklyn. Relatives said she had a third child on the way. She had been headed home to celebrate her third wedding anniversary.
"She was full of love," her distraught husband, Renaldo Ramos, told the New York Post. "She refused to see the glass half-empty, and she always filled up my cup when I saw it half-empty."
The accident happened at about 5 p.m., just a few blocks from the Empire State Building.
A second, 37-year-old woman, one of Ramos' co-workers at a building consulting firm, was taken to a hospital in serious condition.
The crash was one of two bad ones Friday involving vehicles that hopped curbs.
An hour earlier on the Upper West Side, seven people were injured when a taxi hurtled into a pizzeria, shattering its windows. That wreck left one person in critical condition and two others in stable condition, city fire officials said. There were no arrests.
Frances Rivera was at the pizzeria counter with her daughters at around 4 p.m. when the plate glass windows exploded. "My kids flew from the impact," she said.
Her 8-year-old, Tianna, was among four people with minor injuries, cut by flying glass when the yellow SUV hit Mama's Pizzeria. Her 4-year-old was unharmed.