Witnesses say a man declaring the name of Jesus ran over pedestrians and hit a car in Queens on Saturday, injuring six people. Two of the victims were in critical condition, according to officials.
Police say around 7:30 pm, the driver, dressed in a white religious robe, was driving a Ford Econoline van that hit two teenagers and a car before barreling into a pond.
One witness, Sean Hines, reports that when the man hit the teens, they were tossed into the air.
“Must have been about eight to 10 feet,” Hines said. He said the male victim fell behind the van, and the female fell in front of it. “The van ran over the girl. Just ran over her,” Hines reported.
The speeding van went on to sideswipe a Toyota sedan, then ran over a crossing sign, before landing in a pond in Brookville Park.
Witnesses said that upon exiting the van, the man yelled, “Hallelujah!! Praise Jesus!”
A video captured the moment the man left the van, wading into knee-high water, his hands in the air. He was arrested by police .
The van had the words “Psalm 24” and “Psalm 27” written on the back window.
Witnesses Michael Daly said, “When they took the guy out it looked like he was on something. He didn’t look like he was all there.”
Another witness reports he “started paddling in the swamp water” face first. “He gets up and he’s like, ‘Hallelujah! Praise Jesus!’ like he was doing a sermon in the water,” the witness, Bernard, added.
Police did not identify the struck pedestrians, but said an 18-year-old man and a 19-year-old woman were hit. The woman was critically hurt and the man is in stable condition. Of the four other victims, three were in serious condition, and one had only minor injuries.
Some of the victims and the unidentified driver of the van were taken to Jamaica Hospital. Other victims were taken to Long Island Jewish Medical Center.
The van driver is being evaluated, according to authorities. Charges are pending.
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