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3 dead, 8 injured when truck strikes group in NYC park

A mother and son are among the dead after a pickup truck struck a group celebrating July Fourth in a Manhattan park

By Karen Matthews and John Minchillo
Associated Press

NEW YORK — A mother and son who were among three people killed when a pickup truck crashed into a New York City park where they were celebrating the Fourth of July were mourned by relatives Friday.

Eight others were injured, and authorities said the driver was intoxicated.

A Ford F-150 came down a street “at a high rate of speed” shortly before 9 p.m. Thursday. The truck went through an intersection and past a stop sign, then drove onto the sidewalk and into Corlears Hook Park on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Police Chief Jeffrey Maddrey said during a news conference.

The three who died were identified as Lucille Pinkney, 59; her son Hernan Pinkney, 38; and Ana Morel, 43.

The driver, Daniel Hyden, 44, was arrested on charges including aggravated vehicular homicide, eight counts of assault for recklessly causing serious injury with a weapon, driving while intoxicated and aggravated unlicensed driving, police said.

Hyden was awaiting arraignment Friday and did not yet have an attorney who could speak for him, a spokesperson for the Manhattan district attorney’s office said. No phone number for Hyden was listed in public records.

Family members said Lucille and Hernan Pinkney were beloved members of their community.

A tearful Diamond Pinkney, a brother and son of the victims, said his brother had “a very competitive nature” that came out on the basketball court or playing video games but the two were best friends.

“Even at work, we always fool around, pranking each other. We always find a way to make fun in life and bring the party to the neighborhood,” Diamond said.

Haneefah Hasan, a niece of Lucille Pinkney and cousin of Hernan, said her cousin was outgoing and had a great sense of humor.

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“Everybody knows him and his mother are really close,” Hasan said. “They’re always together. ... And, you know, this is just a tragic thing that just happened, and we’re all still trying to process it.”

Fire Department Assistant Chief Michael Meyers said the first crew to arrive at the crash scene found the pickup on top of four of the victims. Firefighters worked to quickly extricate them before emergency medical personnel began treatment, Meyers said.

Police said the people who were injured and taken to hospitals included an 11-year-old boy, an 18-year-old woman and several people in their 30s.

The crash happened about a half hour before the start of the Macy’s fireworks show and other fireworks displays around New York.

“We had a tragic incident that took place here,” Mayor Eric Adams said. “A driver drove into a crowd of people who were actually just celebrating, like so many New Yorkers and Americans are doing right now.”

The crash happened days after four people, including an NYPD officer, were killed when a driver crashed his SUV into a nail salon in Deer Park on Long Island. The driver in that crash was charged with driving while intoxicated and has pleaded not guilty.

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