Alive by miracle!, Dominican taxi driver hit in Brooklyn says it was not his time

By Miguel Cruz Tejada

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fter receiving a fulminating blow that made him "fly" in the air and fall "disengaged" on the pavement with several broken ribs, two fractures in the legs and injuries in other parts of the body, the Dominican livery taxi driver Bienvenido Sánchez, 71 years-old and affiliated with the base Brooklyn Car Services, he did not know more about him until days later he woke up connected to the machines in intensive care.

I'm miraculously alive, that was not my time, "Sanchez said in an interview with NY TAXI VOICE, in which he recounted the dramatic moments, which almost cost him his life, when he was crossing an avenue in Brooklyn and was hit by the driver who escaped from the scene and is still actively sought by the police.

Since his stay in a rehabilitation center of Manhattan, Sanchez, married and with five children, said he thanks God, for having been saved.

"After five days in the hospital, I knew about myself,” he added.

The taxi driver said that he was thinking about retiring, when at age 71, he was still working, because that's what he came to the United States.

He came from the Dominican Republic in the eighties and since then, is behind the wheel.

Sanchez says he had to keep working because of the commitment to pay car fees. "I got into a new car and I had two years to pay."

With everything ready to return to retirement in the Dominican Republic, his wife traveled first on October 24 and six days later, on the 30th, the accident occurred.

I worked 12 hours, starting at 6:00 in the morning and ending at 6:00 in the afternoon.

"In my time as a taxi driver, I had two accidents, in 1986 when a drunk driver hit me and in 1999, 13 years later, a girl collided with me, but never had problems," says Sánchez.

His whole family is in the United States, said the taxi driver. "When I opened my eyes I saw myself in the hospital. I started asking and my wife and the boys were the ones who told me. "

He added that "when he has days left, he does not die so quickly," he explained after spending more than 30 days in the hospital.

"I'm drinking pills and in therapy. He has to lean on a wheelchair and develops a therapy to stabilize the legs, "he added.

"There are two fractures in the legs and three ribs, the ribs have to heal by themselves," he said.

Luckily, Sanchez will not need deep surgeries that require rods or pieces of metal to repair and straighten his bones.

He recalled that he arrived in New York on January 3, 1980 and his message to taxi drivers and pedestrians, is that "here, nobody is safe in any way, because I parked my car well and see what happened to me".

He does not remember how the traffic light was.

"It was a very fast thing, I always take care when crossing, a bus came in front and passed behind another, at 80 miles per hour on that bit," he said.

About the police investigations, he said that he does not know how high the investigations are and who are dealing with the case, they are his children.

The driver who ran over him rented the vehicle to another, so it is more difficult to find the person responsible.

"But the culprit is who leaves the license, when you rent a vehicle," he said.

He thanked José Viloria and Fernando Mateo, leaders of the Federation of Taxi Drivers, for the concern shown and the pressure for the police to capture the fugitive responsible.

"They have treated me very well, they are always calling me, Mateo and Viloria, they are people of respect and fighters for others, always trying to do things the best they can," he said.

Sanchez started at the base "Relámpago" on South Street 4 in Brooklyn and in 1984 he moved to Brooklyn Car Services, after meeting José Bueno and Valentín Peralta, who opened the doors and joined the company.

He decided to leave the job definitively.

"I can not stay in the taxi anymore, I have to be with my family, it's good now," he said.