Driver who crashed into gardena car was wearing seat belt, says police

NEW YORK (AP) A driver who crashed through a gardena Nissan’s roof and killed two people was wearing a seat belt as he drove through the park, New York police said Sunday.

The car, a green 2001 Nissan Quest, veered off the highway and hit a gardener who had been tending to plants, New Yorkers Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said in a statement.

The man’s name has not been released.

Police said they were treating the crash as a homicide and that the man was not wearing a police-issued seat belt.

They said the man has been charged with two counts of vehicular homicide.

Kelly said the vehicle was “not equipped with a safety belt,” though he said the driver was not restrained by one.

“The fact that it was not properly secured did not make any difference in the outcome,” Kelly said.

“The driver’s actions were consistent with what is normal and common in our community.

The fact that this is a new situation does not excuse what happened.”

The man was wearing an ankle monitor, which is required under New York law to keep a driver restrained during a crash.

He had no known history of crashes, Kelly said, and had a valid driver’s license.

He did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment from AP.

The incident occurred on Saturday when the man, who was not immediately identified, was trying to park at a spot that overlooks a residential neighborhood on the outskirts of Manhattan.

He veered across the street to hit a parked vehicle, then went into a residential park and then crashed into a house, authorities said.

The woman who was driving the Nissan was not injured.

The crash killed the woman’s mother, 60-year-old Irene Caspar, and her two sons, 12-year, and 6-year old brother.

The family has not yet been identified.

“It is the tragic loss of the innocent victims of a tragic accident,” Kelly wrote in a news release.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and neighbors.”