NYC terror attack victim’s parents to sue city
Darren Drake’s parents, James and Barbara Drake, speak about their son who was one of eight people who died in the Oct. 31 terror attack in New York City. Michael Karas/NorthJersey.com
NEW MILFORD, N.J. — The parents of a New Milford man killed in the New York City terrorist attack on Halloween intend to sue the city and multiple departments citing an unsafe environment that contributed to the attack.
Darren Drake, 32, was one of eight people killed Oct. 31, when authorities say Sayfullo Saipov, a 29-year-old Uzbekistan immigrant from Paterson, N.J., sped down a bike path in lower Manhattan in a truck he rented from The Home Depot. He allegedly knocked down pedestrians and cyclists, including Drake, before ramming a school bus.
Also Tuesday, Saipov was charged in Manhattan federal court with providing material support to the Islamic State group, along with eight counts of murder and 12 counts of attempted murder in aid of racketeering. Numerous counts carry a potential penalty of death.
Drake’s parents, James and Barbara, are seeking monetary damages from the City of New York and its Department of Parks and Recreation, Department of Transportation, and the Hudson River Park Trust.
According to the notice to sue issued Tuesday by attorney Rosemarie Arnold, representing the Drake family, the agencies being sued were “grossly negligent” in the operation of the bike path.
Officials responsible for the path did not recognize vehicles had “easy access” to the path and did not install barriers that could have blocked entry, according to the intent to sue document.
“All of the above entities were instrumental in creating and constructing the bike path, which should have been free and clear of vehicular traffic,” Arnold stated in an email to The (Bergen County, N.J.) Record. “All of the above mentioned entities were aware that vehicles regularly either mistakenly or purposefully used the bike path but did nothing to curtail that problem. The terrorist, who did a test run of his terror mission, knew in advance that he would have unfettered access to the plaintiff and other victims.”
Messages left for the New York City Comptroller’s Office, which handles claims for and against the city, were not immediately returned.
A 2003 graduate of New Milford High School, Drake lived most of his life in the borough. He was pursuing a second master’s degree in technology management from Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, and was a program manager for Moody’s Analytics at the World Trade Center.
“Darren was a highly educated, well-loved, successful 32-year-old man who was a happy, positive person who used biking as a means to stay healthy in mind and body,” Arnold stated. “His parents are heartbroken, especially since this terrible tragedy was completely preventable.”
A message left for James Drake on Tuesday night was not returned.
Darren Drake rode his bike on the lower Manhattan path every day to stay slim, Arnold said. On the morning of the attack he spoke to his mother and was “cranky” because he was too busy at work to take his ride that day, Arnold continued. However, one of his appointments canceled and he was able to ride his bike for an hour — the same time as the attack.
Barriers were credited with preventing more fatalities and injuries when a car plowed into pedestrians in Times Square in May.
The New York State Department of Transportation recommends bollards for paths shared by cyclists and pedestrians.
“Unauthorized motor vehicles are banned from bicycle or shared-use paths,” the state’s design guide says. “Barriers should be provided.”
However, the American Association of Highway and Transportation Officials calls them “ineffective” and says they may hinder access by emergency vehicles and cause serious injuries to cyclists who strike them.
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Associated Press Reporter Warren Levinson is very familiar with the bike path that was the site of Tuesday’s terror attack in New York – he rides it almost everyday. (Nov. 2) AP
Sayfullo Saipov is facing two counts related to Tuesday’s vehicular homicide attack. Video provided by Newsy Newslook
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Map of New York City terror attacks since 1993. By Bart Jansen and Ramon Padilla, USA TODAY
The Senate’s top Democrat is hitting back after President Donald Trump faulted him for an immigration program that Trump says allowed the man in the deadly New York City bike path attack to enter the United States. (Nov. 1) AP
Mayor Bill De Blasio says terror won’t stop New Yorkers from going on with their day to day lives. USA TODAY
Deputy Police Commissioner John Miller says the New York truck attacker had been planning it for weeks, and had “multiple knives” in addition to imitation guns. (Nov. 1) AP
Experts say the Internet is helping radicalize ‘lone wolf’ terrorists and encouraging them to act faster than before. USA TODAY
N.Y. Mayor de Blasio describes Tuesday’s truck attack as a “cowardly act,” while Gov. Cuomo says it failed to terrorize New Yorkers. (Nov. 1) AP
After the latest terrorist attack on New York City happened, President Trump has vowed to end the U.S. Diversity Visa program. This is what the program does. USA TODAY
Police believe Sayfullo Saipov had planned the NYC terror attack for weeks. Here’s what know about the 29-year-old from Uzbekistan. USA TODAY
John Williams witnessed the aftermath of the Lower Manhattan attack. He describes how police captured one man and searched for another. USA TODAY
The head of the New York City schools system says two staff members and two students were injured in a school bus that was struck by a motorist who drove a rented truck onto a bike path, killing eight people. (Nov. 1) AP
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New York City’s mayor, Bill de Blasio called the attack on a Lower Manhattan bike path a ‘cowardly act of terror.’ USA TODAY
A man in a rented pickup truck mowed down pedestrians and cyclists along a busy bike path near the World Trade Center memorial on Tuesday, killing at least eight and seriously injuring 11 in what the mayor called “a particularly cowardly act of terror”. (Nov. 1) AP
The New York Stock Exchange observed a moment of silence before the market open on Wednesday for the victims of the NYC attack. Video provided by Reuters Newslook
Video shot above the scene of the fatal attack in New York shows a victim lying in a bicycle path, and two crashed vehicles. (Oct. 31) AP
Police in New Jersey surrounded a car Tuesday night they believe belongs to the suspect in the deadly crash in Lower Manhattan. Police also searched a mosque they believe 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov attended. (Nov. 1) AP
One man who witnessed a truck plow into people on a busy Lower Manhattan bike path said when it happened, it sounded like gunshots. New York City’s mayor said at least eight people died from attack. USA TODAY
A student describes learning from friends about the New York terror attack minutes after leaving the area. (Oct. 31) Kevin R. Wexler/NorthJersey.com
According to New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, at least 8 people have died and several others have been injured after a motorist drove a truck into a Lower Manhattan bike path. USA TODAY
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NorthJersey.com’s Keldy Ortiz reports the latest on the incident in Lower Manhattan, where multiple deaths and injuries occurred after a vehicle reportedly ran down pedestrians and cyclists on a bike path.
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