Two people died and four others were injured after a multi-vehicle crash in Washington Heights involving a stolen car allegedly driven by a joyriding teen Monday morning, authorities said.
A black Hyundai Elantra that had been reported stolen late last month was speeding north along Audubon Avenue when the driver lost control and slammed it into a black Jeep heading west on West 179th Street shortly before 7 a.m., police said.
The Hyundai, carrying five people — all of them said to be youngsters — flipped on its side near the intersection, leaving a wide field of debris in its wake.
“The driver was a kid. Most of the kids in there looked like they were anywhere from 12 to 17 years old,” said a neighbor who rushed to the scene to help.
First responders had to shear the roof off the mangled sedan to pull some of the victims out.
Two of them died at New York Presbyterian-Columbia, reported ABC 7 New York. A third person was listed in critical condition at the same hospital.
The Hyundai’s two remaining occupants were rushed to Harlem Hospital, where one was listed in critical condition and the other was described as stable.
The 53-year-old driver of the Jeep struck in the deadly collision was also taken to Harlem Hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries, officials said.
Witnesses reported that just before the crash, they saw the Hyundai speeding up and down the street.
“A few minutes before this accident, I saw these kids driving around erratically, running lights at full speed without even looking,” the neighbor who took part in the rescue effort said. “And about five minutes later, they hit this vehicle that was coming up.”
Nearby residents reported hearing a loud bang marking the moment of impact.
Good Samaritans ran to the crushed sedan resting on its side and tried to help the passengers.
“From what I saw, [it] looked like two of them in the back were not breathing at all,” said the neighbor.
As of Monday afternoon, police had not released the names and ages of the victims who died.
At least two parked vehicles were damaged in the crash.
By Snejana Farberov