Police say at least one person has been killed after an off-duty police officer’s SUV struck four pedestrians in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Authorities say 28-year-old Nicholas Batka lost control of his vehicle on Bedford Avenue and it mounted the sidewalk, striking four pedestrians.
Batka was arrested on charges including manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter and driving while intoxicated.
Police spokesman Officer Brian Magoolaghan said Batka has worked 1½ years in the New York Police Department Transit Bureau Manhattan task force. He said Batka has been suspended and remains in custody. He has been suspended from the task force.
Magoolaghan said two women and two men, all believed to be in their 20s, were struck. Police say a man at Bellevue Hospital was dead while at least one other person was seriously injured.
Witnesses said they had the SUV surrounded and were shocked to see Batka allegedly try to use the fact he’s an officer to get away. The deadly crash was just hours before Batka was scheduled to work at 7 a.m.
“So I saw this guy pass by me in a really bad speed, zigzagging and soon as he turned he jumped on the sidewalk,” Uber driver Shakeel Shabbi told CBS New York. “I’m a strong man but I was shaking like a leaf. That’s the worst thing I’ve ever seen… Never want to see that again in my life.”
Another witness told 1010 WINS that it was the most horrific thing she’d ever seen with bloody bodies on the ground and one victim who “looked like a chainsaw had been taken to his knee.”