- Manoj Thapa, a young Nepalese immigrant and Uber driver, was killed in a road accident in Brooklyn on New Year’s Eve while making his last night trip.
- The 32-year-old driver had recently moved to New York City and was planning to get married.
- Traffic accidents have been a major challenge for the city, with a 35% increase in April and a 129% increase in hit-and-run incidents from January to July.
Manoj Thapa, a young Nepalese immigrant Uber driver, was killed in a road accident in Brooklyn (NYC) while making his last ride before returning home to Queens in the early hours of December 31.
The 32-year-old driver had plans to get married this new year and, a few months ago, had moved from New Jersey to NYC, where he began working with Uber. “No one really believes he’s gone. It’s a shock,” his cousin Anisha Thapa told the Daily News.
“He loved the city,” the relative added, referring to New York. Thapa was finishing a shift and, while driving on the Gowanus Expressway near 56th Street in Sunset Park, was rear-ended around 1:15 a.m. Saturday by a Toyota Venza pickup truck, police said.
Thapa stopped his rented Toyota Camry in the right emergency lane, and both drivers got out of their vehicles to inspect the damage. But at that point, a motorist driving a BMW slammed Thapa into the back of his own Camry.
The young man died at the scene. The drivers of the BMW and Venza were treated for minor injuries at Lutheran Hospital Center.
“The man who hit him called 911,” said his cousin Anisha. “The car that hit him initially didn’t do too much damage; it was a minor accident.”
Her relative said the irony struck her that her cousin, whom she repeatedly described as an excellent driver, died in a car accident.
Before the accident, Thapa had called his housemate to tell him that he was on his way home and was making one last trip that day.
She was perhaps the last victim to be killed in NYC in 2022, a grim year on New York’s asphalt in all five boroughs. From Jan. 1 to July 31, some 150 people died in traffic crashes, according to the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT). Particularly there was a 129% increase in hit-and-run incidents.
In addition to gun violence, traffic accidents are another major challenge for Mayor Eric Adams. This is despite “Vision Zero,” a road safety plan created in 2014 by then-new Mayor Bill de Blasio, who promised to make the city safer for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists, with a goal of zero fatalities by 2024.
New York City had already experienced a 35% increase in traffic accidents last April, NYPD warned. At the end of that month, there was a tragic spate of an average of one person killed in a hit-and-run daily.