New York A crash in Inwood on Wednesday morning killed two pedestrians and injured several others. The two men were walking on Sherman Street when two cars collided and one of them veered.
CBS2’s Natalie Doddridge spoke to family and friends who were paying their respects at a memorial erected at the scene. They told her that her life could change in an instant.
Robert Gomez said, “He was cutting his hair. He was with the barber. The two who died, were together. He just finished seeing his barber, and walked down the street. In the wrong place, wrong time, I think.” The victim’s cousin, 31-year-old Joel Adams.
The family said Adames had his hair cut early in the morning at 4 a.m. in order to look fresh for a birthday celebration later in the day. Friends say he and his barber were walking on the sidewalk near the barbershop when they got stuck in a multi-vehicle crash.
“The thunderous collision woke me up, and I looked out the window and saw passersby running towards the accident,” said Iverson Sanchez, an Inwood resident.
Police said the BMW was heading north in Sherman near 207th Street when it swerved into the southbound lanes. Collision with Subaru. The impact resulted in the vehicles colliding with several other parked cars. A Subaru climbed onto the sidewalk and veered towards pedestrians, killing them.
Friends said the well-known barber, 40-year-old David Fernandez, was someone you could call at all hours of the day to set up an appointment.
“He’s been my barber too since I was little,” Gomez said. “We used to go to him all the time. He was the best salsa dancer. That’s one thing about him. When it came to dancing, he was a professional.”
A neighbor added, “One of the nicest kids in the neighborhood. Everyone knows him. He was a barber and a hardworking kid.”
Watch Natalie Doddridge’s report
“I feel sad, man. I can’t believe this happened to my friend,” Isaac Canarios told CBS 2’s Nick Calloway. “He was such an amazing person. He was always happy. He loved to dance salsa. Everyone in the neighborhood knew him.”
The family said Adames worked as a delivery driver and recently applied to the MTA. He had a one-year-old daughter.
“Best kid I’ve ever met – playing, laughing and jokes. It’s hard,” said a woman named Marisol, crying.
Another added, “He was lovely. He was a good man. He loved his daughter and his family.”
“It’s a tragic loss,” said Joshua Mackenzie.
Neighbors said they asked the city to make the stretch of road where the accident occurred safer.
“This community tried to ask to add speed bumps on Sherman Street,” Sanchez said. “The street seems to be too wide to add speed bumps. They are looking to add another speed camera.”
According to Transportation Alternatives Group, there are no red-light cameras in the entire zip code where the accident occurred, and they say that needs to be changed.
“The good news is that we already have proven solutions in place that we know can keep New Yorkers safe, and what we need is political leadership to scale these solutions to every corner of the city,” said Danny Harris, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives.
There was no immediate word on whether speed or alcohol was a factor in the accident. The NYPD Collision Investigation Squad was still at the scene later Wednesday morning.
City officials say that in the past five years, 36 people have been injured in collisions at the intersection, including 12 pedestrians and cyclists.