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Cab Driver Killed in Gramercy Crash

By  Paul Lomax and Jess Wisloski | January 20, 2013 4:29pm | Updated on January 20, 2013 5:36pm

GRAMERCY — A 35-year-old yellow cab driver was killed early Sunday morning in a collision on a Manhattan side street, police said.

Mir Hoosain, 35, of Elmhurst, was found unconscious on East 26th Street in front of a yellow 2010 Crown Victoria, after a Nissan Pathfinder smashed into it from behind at 2 a.m., sending the taxi lurching into Hoosain, police said. 

Police found Hoosain unrepsonsive, and EMS responders arriving moments later declared him dead at the scene, police said.

An investigation revealed that the 2000 grey Pathfinder was being driven by a 42-year-old man, who was headed eastbound between Lexington Avenue and Third Avenue when he slammed into the taxi, which had been double-parked, from behind.

According to the Taxi Workers Alliance, the driver of the Pathfinder had been speeding, but police would not verify whether or not that was the case.

"It is with a heavy heart that we mourn the passing of taxi driver Mir Hossain, 35, killed when a speeding SUV struck his car while he was standing outside," read the statement. 

Hoosain's roommate, Md Sarkeer, 27, who had lived with the victim for two years in a shared Elmhurst apartment, said he was still in shock over the news.

"The last time I saw him was yesterday, just before he left for work. I was just waking up and didn't say anything to him, but I saw him leave. I didn't know it was going to be the last time I would see him," said Sarkeer. Hoosain typically worked from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m., he said, and had been driving in the city for 16 years.

"He was a very quiet and humble man," he said, who had moved from the Dhaka region of Bangladesh where his wife still lived.

Another friend of Hoosain's, Mohammed Chowhury, 35, who was also from Bangladesh, called his friend of five years "a quiet and very gentle man. A very nice person. We used to pray together at the Elmhurst Muslim Center," he said.

"I taught him to cook and he was getting very good at it and seemed to enjoy it," he said. "I will miss my friend very much."

Neighbors said that East 26th Street was a mess following the crash.

"The whole street was full of fire trucks, cop cars and EMS vehicles and the street was blocked off at both ends by the NYPD," said Fred Michmershuizen, editor of Dental Tribune International, who was awakened by the sirens. "There were at least two dozen cops, firefighters, and paramedics on the street."

"I didn't know that someone had been killed until a few minutes ago. Oh my god, it's awful."

Both vehicles struck three other cars that were parked at the location, including a 2008 Honda Accord, with a 43-year-old man inside. The Accord driver was rushed to Weill Cornell Medical Center, where he was in stable condition Sunday.

Police said it did not appear any alcohol was involved in the accident, and said an investigation was ongoing.

Robert, 30, a bartender at a neighborhood bar who did not want his name used, said he was one of the first people at the crash scene.

"A customer came up to the bar and said that there had been a crash, so me, the other bartender, a busboy and a couple of customers went out there right away to see if we could help," he said.

When they arrived, he said they saw Hoosain lying with his back propped against the sidewalk, with a massive slash stretching across his torso from his right hip all the way to just beneath his right rib cage.

"I could tell that the driver was dead, probably upon impact," he said. "All you could see were the whites of his eyes."

He said he spoke to the Pathfinder's driver before police arrived, and then watched the police take the man into custody with handcuffs. Police said no arrests had been made in the incident.

"I feel bad for the family," said Robert.

According to the TWA, Hoosain's former roommate was Sajjad Matin, a cabbie who lost a leg to amputation after he was struck by a drunk driver in February 2012, while unloading luggage for a customer.

"This is a total tragedy. I feel very broken," said Matin, in a statement released by the Alliance. "We became close friends, like family, not just roommates...In the same house, one driver became an amputee and one driver is dead. It is hard to believe my friend is gone like this," he said.

A memorial service is planned for Wednesday, January 23, at 2:00 p.m., at Lexington Avenue and East 26th Street, according to the Taxi Workers' Alliance.