Lawyers for a Brooklyn hospital and an ambulance driver accused of running a red light, striking and killing a motorcyclist, are attempting to suppress video of the incident, saying the driver didn’t know the video existed when she testified under oath that the ambulance had repeatedly stopped, the New York Daily News is reporting.
Jury selection is about to begin in the death of Jesus Santiago, 46, who was struck and killed — his body flying 50 feet into the air — in the May 26, 2012 accident. Santiago, a married father of two children, died two hours after the collision from multiple blunt impact injuries, according to his autopsy.
Three days after the accident, ambulance driver Danielle Bensimhon told investigators she had stopped at the intersection before proceeding.
“I had stopped at the red light and confirmed that westbound traffic on 63rd Street was yielding to my emergency vehicle,” she said, according to the official report.
In a sworn deposition on July 18, 2013, Bensimhon was asked: “How many complete stops did you make at that intersection?
“The first one and then three,” Bensimhon, 29, replied, according to the transcript, acknowledging that the light for the ambulance was red.
Bensimhon also claims she had activated the ambulance’s lights and sirens, but witnesses disagree about the siren.
Private security video obtained by the family of Santiago contradicts her claim, with footage showing the ambulance speeding through the red light without slowing.
“If we didn’t find this video they would have gotten away with misleading everyone as to how this incident happened,” said Santiago family attorney lawyer Scott Rynecki. “From the outset, their medics’ statements to investigators at the scene and afterward clearly did not conform to what happened.”
Attorneys for the Maimonides Medical Center and Bensimhon filed papers in Brooklyn Supreme Court last week seeking to preclude the video from the wrongful death trial, stating Santiago’s lawyers did not turn it over to them prior to their client’s statements.
Watch the video below from the New York Daily News: