LOWER EAST SIDE — Friends and family mourned the death of a man killed by a police van after it jumped a curb in Chinatown.
Kok Hoe Tee, 55, of Brooklyn, died after the driver pulled out of a parking spot on Elizabeth Street and lost control of the vehicle, striking the victim on a sidewalk next to the 5th Precinct stationhouse on July 1.
The driver, longtime 5th Precinct auxiliary police chief Shuck Seid, 85, was not charged in the incident and no criminality is suspected, police said. The city medical examiner ruled the crash an accident.
The precinct's commanding officer Inspector Gin Yee, along with other NYPD officers, attended Tuesday's viewing at the Boe Fook funeral home on Canal Street to pay their respects.
Yee explained that the van Seid was driving at the time was being inspected for any mechanical problems, and said an investigation is ongoing.
The inspector and fellow officers offered their condolences to Tee's family, who described him as an entrepreneur who came to America from Malaysia 23 years ago seeking a better life.
"He had a better opportunity in the states," said his brother, Tee Kok Yee, 55, noting that he regularly sent money to his mother and father back in Malaysia. "He wanted to take care of our parents."
Tee, one of 11 brothers and sisters, planned to return to Malaysia in the next couple of years to be closer to his family, his brother said.
He was the chef and owner of a downtown restaurant before the 9/11 attacks forced his business to close, his family said. He often came to Chinatown in search of work.
Yee, who came from Kuala Lumpur to attend the funeral, described his older brother as living a "simple life" with no wife or kids.
"He had so many friends," he said. “Very easy [for him] to mix with people.”
Yee, who noted that police have not provided him any information regarding how the crash happened, said he believes it was an unfortunate accident.
"I think because of [Seid's] old age, his reaction was a little slower," he said.
Tee’s funeral is scheduled for Wednesday at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn.