THE BRONX - Police are investigating whether alcohol was a factor in a crash that injured nine people early Friday morning on the New England Thruway near the Bronx-Westchester border.
A Cadillac Escalade veered out of control and smashed into a brick wall near exit 13 at around 5:30 a.m. NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton says speed was a "significant factor" in the crash.
The three women and six men in the car, all between the ages of 24 and 36, had reportedly been partying in the Bronx.
The SUV is registered to 32-year-old Amoghene Umude, who is reportedly from Valley Cottage, and was sometimes used as part of a taxi service in Westchester County. Police say Mark Umude, of the Bronx, was driving at the time. The relationship between the two is unknown.
The injured were taken to Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, where six people remain in critical condition.
The head of the Livery Cab Association says it is unclear whether the SUV's owner is a licensed livery driver.
Police are seeking a warrant for a blood sample from the driver to determine if he was under the influence. Protocol would call for a Breathalyzer test to be administered to Umude, but he is among those in critical condition.