Sept. 28, 2022 By Michael Dorgan
The Queens Post has obtained shocking video of a delivery driver on a scooter being struck by an alleged hit-and-run-driver in Long Island City Saturday.
The video shows delivery worker Armando Escorcia, 28, riding his scooter northbound on 21st Street – at the 44th Drive intersection – at around 5:45 p.m. when a driver in a white-colored minivan traveling in the opposite direction suddenly plows into him. The driver of the minivan – a Dodge Grand Caravan — was attempting to turn left onto eastbound 44th Drive.
The brutal collision throws Escorcia flying high into the air in a somersault-like spin before he comes crashing down onto the ground.
The Dodge driver then stops the vehicle and briefly glances at Escorcia as he lays injured on the roadway. The Dodge driver then speeds away from the scene southbound on 21st Street, the CCTV footage shows.
Escorcia, who is from Woodside, was transported by EMS to New York Presbyterian with a fractured ankle and torn tendons, according to his attorney Eric Malinowski.
The collision also causes another delivery driver on a bike to smash into the back of the Dodge. The cyclist is knocked off the bike and can be seen throwing a beverage at the Dodge as it takes off, the footage shows. It is unclear whether the cyclist was hurt.
Malinowski, a partner at the Manhattan-based law firm Camacho Mauro LLP, is appealing for the public’s help in identifying the alleged hit-and-run driver. He said the video footage, which was taken from a nearby restaurant, is not clear enough to make out the vehicle’s registration plate.
He said the police have been notified about the incident and are investigating the matter.
Malinowski said that if the police cannot track down the alleged hit-and-run driver, then Escorcia will be left with hefty medical bills since he also requires surgery on his leg.
Escorcia, who is originally from Mexico, has no health insurance and the cost of his treatment will be thousands of dollars, Malinowski said.
Escorcia works for the delivery platform Grubhub but the company does not provide insurance to its delivery workers, Malinowski said. He was working at the time of the incident and had recently made a delivery.
Furthermore, Escorcia will be unable to work for the next six months due to the severity of his injuries and he has no other source of income, Malinowski said.
Malinowski said that Escorcia is very concerned about how he is going to make ends meet over the next few months since he does not qualify for unemployment benefits.
“This means that unless we can find the offending [driver], Armando will be responsible for his medical expenses and will have to rely on friends and family for financial support until he can get back to work,” Malinowski told the Queens Post.
Malinowski said that delivery drivers face treacherous conditions every time they work a shift, and hit-and-run incidents have become widespread.
“Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence among delivery workers… and in many occasions, the vehicle that struck them just drives off or is uninsured,” Malinowski said.
“Close to 50 percent of drivers for delivery apps such as DoorDash, Uber Eats, Grub-Hub are involved in accidents while working,” Malinowski said, citing a 2021 report by the Workers’ Justice Project, a Brooklyn-based nonprofit organization and Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.
Of these workers, 75 percent said that they had paid for the medical care with their own personal funds, Malinowski said.
This is why we must pass legislation, formerly part of the Crash Victim Rights and Safety Act, which gives the same rights to victims of traffic violence as the Crime Victims Insurance (which is available to crime victims in every state)