NY Daily News - January 21, 2019by TREVOR KAPP and BARRY PADDOCK
A driver was killed after she lost control of her car, plunged off an overpass, landed upside down beside a cemetery and burst into flames in Washington Heights early Sunday, cops said.
The 2019 Toyota Camry was traveling the wrong way on W. 155th St. near Riverside Dr. before colliding with a parked Honda Accord, blasting through a brick wall and plunging 20 feet off an embankment about 4:05 a.m., police said.
The vehicle landed wheels up on the edge of Trinity Church Cemetery and Mausoleum.
The car was engulfed in flames when emergency responders arrived.
"I heard a big noise,” said Youssef Ellebane, 57, who lives on the fifth floor of a building overlooking the crash scene. “At first I thought it was a truck picking up a dumpster so I stayed in bed. Then I heard sirens so I looked out the window and I saw fire coming from below. The flames were above the wall. It was completely orange."
Firefighters doused the flames and found the driver dead inside the vehicle. Her name was not immediately released.
Her 37-year-old passenger somehow survived and was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital in serious but stable condition.
"I went outside and saw someone on a stretcher. There were a lot of firefighters with hoses out,” Ellebane said. “I just don't understand how you could hit the wall like that and avoid the parked cars. It's a big surprise. I don't know how you could do that."
Cops were investigating the cause of the crash, which happened as the city was pelted with icy rain as part of a major storm.
Celsius Beudeker, 85, who lives in a building overlooking the scene, discovered his 1998 Accord was damaged in the crash after being struck by the Camry.
"The whole front is taken away,” he said. “The cops told me not to start it or it may explode."