Driver who plowed into NYC Fourth of July gathering in suspected DUI was a substance abuse counselor and author


The driver of a pickup truck that fatally plowed into a group of revelers celebrating the Fourth of July at a New York City park Thursday evening was a substance abuse counselor who penned a book on helping others overcome addiction, according to law enforcement sources

Daniel C. Hyden, 44, of Monmouth Junction, New Jersey, was identified Friday as the driver who struck revelers at Manhattan’s Corlears Hook Park in Manhattan. Three people were killed and eight others were injured, one critically.

New York Police Chief of Department Jeff Maddrey said Thursday responding officers “did smell some alcohol, but we are still in the process of doing testing.”

New York police say the driver of a pickup truck ran a stop sign and drove into a Manhattan park  (NBC New York)

New York police say the driver of a pickup truck ran a stop sign and drove into a Manhattan park (NBC New York)

Hyden was charged Friday with eight counts of assault – recklessly causing serious injury with a weapon, aggravated vehicular homicide killing more than one person, driving while intoxicated, and aggravated unlicensed operator of a vehicle, New York City police said.

Hyden had worked a substance abuse counselor and was most recently working for residential treatment programs in Manhattan, according to his Linkedin profile.

In 2020 he published a book entitled “The Sober Addict: A Guide on How to Be Functional With the Dysfunctional Disease of Addiction,” law enforcement sources told NBC New York. His biography on Amazon described him as having a mission to “use his lifelong experience with addiction to teach addicts how to save themselves and achieve long-term recovery.”

It’s not immediately clear if he has an attorney.

Lucille Pinkney, 59, and Hernan Pinkney, 38, died in the collision, authorities said. The third victim was not named, but identified as a woman.

New York police say the driver of a pickup truck ran a stop sign and drove into a Manhattan park  (NBC New York)

New York police say the driver of a pickup truck ran a stop sign and drove into a Manhattan park (NBC New York)

Of the injured, one person was hospitalized in critical condition, and seven others suffered minor injuries, including an 11-year-old boy, police said.

When first responders arrived to the scene they found the pickup truck “on top of four victims,” Fire Department Assistant Chief of Operations Michael Meyers said in a news conference Thursday. Locals at the park removed the driver and made sure he didn’t leave the scene until first responders arrived, officials said.

Hyden was arrested at the scene and treated for head and facial lacerations.

Police said he was not wearing seatbelt and he had a suspended license. He refused all testing as police noted there was “suspicion of impairment.”

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com



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