NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Sunday, November 8, 2015, 1:50 PM
Salifu Abubkar, 73, said that he had been behind the wheel of his taxi for 16 hours when he struck and killed 88-year-old Louisa Rosario in the Upper West Side, police sources said.
A taxi driver said he’d been behind the wheel for 16 hours before he struck and killed an 88-year-old woman crossing the street, a police source told the Daily News Sunday.
Photos from the scene of the 11th pedestrian fatality this week shows the bleary-eyed cabbie, Salifu Abubkar, 73, talking to police, who charged him with failure to yield.
Luisa Rosario 88, was was killed as she legally crossed W. 109th St. and Columbus Ave. at around 1 a.m. Sunday. Abubka told police that he had been at the wheel for 16 hours that days prior to the accident.
Regulations prohibit cabbies from driving over 12 hours straight, Taxi and Limousine Commission spokesman Allan Fromberg said. Records show Abubkar has been a licensed cabbie for over 26 years.
Three distraught locals gathered Sunday morning at the scene of the crash at W. 109th St. and Columbus Ave. and remembered the victim, Louisa Rosario, as a beloved neighborhood figure.
“She was like everybody’s grandmother,” said Elio Velez, 53, who works for the Columbus-Amsterdam Business Improvement District.
Luis Inoa, who owns a hardware store with his brother near the scene, said Rosario constantly walked around the neighborhood and at times sold T-shirts out of her push-cart.
“She saw us grow up,” Inoa said. “We all knew her.”
Around 10 members of Rosario’s grief-stricken family gathered at her W. 110th St. apartment and remembered the their matriarch as healthy, active and always eager to help.
Louisa Tejada, 33, said Rosario was walking to her daughter’s apartment at 1 a.m. when the cabbie slammed into her.
“She used to be happy, dynamic,” said Tejada, Rosario’s granddaughter. “Everybody loved her. Everybody knew her. She used to cook, she used to dance.”
People mourn at the scene where Rosario was struck and killed early SUnday morning. “She was like everybody’s grandmother,” said Elio Velez.
Asked how she felt about Abubkar being in the taxi for a whopping 16 hours, Tejada shook her head, fighting back tears.
“How is that possible? It don’t make no sense,” she said.
The stunned family planned to bury Rosario in her hometown of San Francisco, Dominican Republic.
Prior to Rosario’s death, a 10th pedestrian was struck and killed Saturday at 11:30 p.m. at S. Conduit Ave. and 130th St. in Queens, police said.