By RENE SAFF & LISA FLAUGH
A court date was set on Thursday for the trial of an epileptic Boro taxi driver who failed to report his medical condition to the Department of Transportation before driving into, and killing, two bystanders at a Bronx bus stop on a snowy night during a seizure.
Emilio Garcia, 44, stood patiently in a relatively empty courtroom as Justice Miriam Best set the date of his trial for Dec. 9. The court date was deliberately set for a Friday, so that Garcia’s family would be able to attend.
On March 20, 2015 at about 6:30pm, Garcia was driving north on Grand Concourse in his 2007 Toyota Camry when he drove into a parked Subaru at the corner of East 170th Street, mounted the snowy curb and then fatally struck two people. Kadeem Brown, 25, died on the scene, and Tierre Clark, 5, was pronounced dead at Lincoln Hospital. Video of the collision from a nearby bodega shows Brown being flung across the street by the force of the impact. Two other pedestrians standing at the bus stop were injured, according to news reports.
“When we are waiting for the bus, she gave me a kiss and she was dancing around, she never saw it coming,” said Sanequa Howe, Clark’s mother, to a TV news reporter.
According to the Bronx DA’s office, Garcia failed to disclose his medical condition to the DOT, and he was having a seizure during the crash. Garcia had been prescribed anti-seizure to control his epilepsy, but he was not taking the prescribed doses, according to the prosecution.
Garcia was not arrested until six months later, but his license was revoked by the TLC shortly after the fatal crash.
Complicating his possible guilt, this was not Garcia’s first crash. On New Year’s Eve of 2014, just three months before his second crash, Garcia was involved in a crash that resulted in minor injuries to another driver and he failed to disclose his medical condition after the first crash.
According to the Bronx DA, Garcia had been aware of his epilepsy, despite his failure to come forward with that information to the DOT.
Garcia was arraigned in Bronx Supreme Court on Oct. 15. Justice George Villegas set his bail at $100,000.
If convicted, Garcia could face up to 15 years in prison.