New York

Two men killed on Manhattan sidewalk after cars collide head-on

Lit candles and fragrant flowers marked the spot where two friends were fatally struck early Wednesday after a two-car collision at a Manhattan intersection vaulted one of the vehicles onto the sidewalk, where it plowed into the helpless pedestrians.

Residents and police said David Fernandez and Joel Adames were chatting on a sidewalk in Inwood near Sherman Ave. and W. 207th St. shortly after 4 a.m. when one of the cars in the head-on collision barreled into them.

Medics took the pair to Harlem Hospital and New York-Presbyterian Allen but they couldn’t be saved.

Five people in the two cars were injured, three seriously, officials said.

Cops said a BMW driver was heading uptown on Sherman Ave. while the Subaru was zipping downtown when they crashed into each other.

The impact forced the Subaru into two parked cars and then onto the sidewalk, where it hit the two men.

No charges were immediately filed against either driver.

Friends and relatives said Adames, 31, was a food delivery driver, and Fernandez, 40, was a barber who worked at a nearby barbershop.

People who knew them both said Fernandez had just given Adames a haircut, and the two were walking from the barbershop and talking when disaster struck.

“Someone called me in the morning and gave me the terrible news,” said Robert Arias, who worked with Fernandez at Erik Barbershop on W. 207th St.

“He was working here a long time. I’ve known him for 17 years. I never met a person like him. He was an excellent guy. Everyone says that. Everybody knew him in the neighborhood. He was a good person, friendly and never had arguments with anyone. He loved being a barber.”

“David was my barber, too,” said Robert Gomez, 31, whose cousin, Adames, was the other fatal victim. “I knew him since I was like 14″

Gomez was sweeping the sidewalk, helping to set up a makeshift memorial for Adames.

“He was known by everyone,” Gomez said of his cousin “He was loyal, protective over everyone, He never had problems with anyone. Joey had charisma and put everyone before him. He would always try to help you and mediate situations. I’ve known him all my life, we grew up together.”

Residents said speeding is a problem in the neighborhood.

“I don’t like my kids going outside cause there’s speeding cars and these cars that do these donuts on the street,” said Martha Rodriguez, 43.

“It’s a big concern here. We always think someone is going to get hit.”

Danny Harris, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, said streets need to be redesigned, and the red-light camera program needs to be expanded to cover more intersections.

“Walking on the sidewalk should not be a death sentence,” Harris said. “Yet today, like too many other days in this city, it was.”

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