CBS correspondent Bob Simon was not wearing a seat belt when he was killed in a crash while riding in the back seat of a for-hire Lincoln Town Car, New York police said Thursday.
The city does not require the use of seat belts in the back of “livery vehicles” such as cabs, Town Cars and limousines in the city.
Simon, a correspondent for 60 Minutes, was riding on the West Side Highway when the driver lost control, hit a Mercedes-Benz stopped at a red light and then struck the median, police said.
Emergency responders found Simon, 73, unconscious in the backseat of the mangled vehicle with injuries to his head and stomach. He was pronounced dead at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Center.
The driver of the town car, Abdul Reshad Fedahi, 44, was hospitalized in stable condition. No charges had been filed, although police said the investigation was continuing.
The driver of the Mercedes – identified as Zachery Miller of New Rochelle – told theNew York Post the black car was veering erratically before the crash.
“He swerved into me,” said Miller, 23. “He hit me, and he looked like he lost control of the car.”
“Speed may have been a factor” in the crash, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal, citing a law-enforcement official Thursday.
Fedahi has a valid taxi license but has two previous traffic violations and nine license suspensions that have all been cleared, the WSJ reported.
SOURCE: John Bacon and Melanie Eversley