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In a grisly scene of deja vu, an East Elmhurst motorist lost control of his car while exiting a ramp off Queensboro Bridge early Wednesday morning and struck two storefronts on Queens Plaza South under near-identical circumstances to an accident that occurred last week, the NYPD said.
The latest crash took place around 4 a.m. and police responded to the scene immediately, authorities said. Alexander Palacio, 39, the operator of a 2006 Volkswagen Jetta, lost control of his car while leaving the lower level of the Queensboro Bridge, police said. Palacio then hit storefronts on Queens Plaza South before coming to a stop, police said.
The EMS who arrived at the scene brought Palacio to Bellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan, where he was in stable condition. He was also placed under arrest, police said. His female passenger, 40, suffered severe head trauma and was taken to New York Presbyterian in Manhattan, police said. She is listed in critical condition, police said.
The New York Times reported Palacio lost his arm in the accident.
Palacio was charged as an aggravated unlicensed operator, police said.
The circumstances of the crash were uncannily similar to one that occurred March 28. A man and woman had been exiting the Queensboro Bridge on the same ramp in a 2007 Volkswagen around 4 a.m. when the car careened and hit the same storefronts.
In that crash, the male driver, 35, was taken to Bellevue Hospital Center and the woman, 31, was taken to New York Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan. Both were stable, although the man was reported to have lost his arm in the accident. A pedestrian, 68-year-old Manhattan taxi driver Anthony Buscemi, was hit by the out-of-control car and died. Police have not released the names of the motorist or the passenger.
Kamini Jattn, who works at the nearby Panini Tozt Cafe, said the glass on the storefront was broken because of the accident. She said motorists often speed through the area in the early hours of the morning because there are few other drivers on the road.
“They need to put something there, a bump or something,” Jattn said.
Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone by 718-260-4564.
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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