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Driver Killed, Passenger Hurt After Car Crashes Through Bronx Building

By  Tuan Nguyen Alan Neuhauser and Wil Cruz | July 12, 2012 7:47am | Updated on July 12, 2012 11:05am

THE BRONX — A 49-year-old man was killed and a 30-year-old woman injured when their car crashed through a building in Westchester Square early Thursday morning, the NYPD reported.

The man and woman were driving west in a Honda Accord on East Tremont Avenue shortly before 1 a.m. when they attempted an illegal left-turn onto Overing Street, a one-way road going in the opposite direction, police said.

The driver, Gilbert Alfonso, a Bronx resident, lost control of the car, sending it careening into a building at 1649 Overing St., which includes a ground-floor storefront and six apartments, police stated.

"I heard a huge boom, and we all just rushed out," said Vanessa Brown, a resident who lives in the building next door. "At first, we thought it was just a fire as all we could see were white smoke, lots of it, and fire coming out of the building.

"We were just standing in disbelief."

The victims were rushed to Jacobi Hospital, where Alfonso was pronounced dead and the woman was in stable condition.

A preliminary investigation found that no criminality was suspected in the crash.

Five of the building's six apartments were occupied at the time of the crash, police said. It was unclear precisely how many people were in the building, but no injuries were reported.

The Department of Buildings vacated the first two floors of the building until the NYPD removes the vehicle, a spokeswoman, Gloria Chin, said. The owner of the property, Overing Realty Corporation, is working with a contractor to shore up the building, she added.

The vacate order will be in effect until DOB inspectors assess the stability of the structure.