During the early morning hours of New Year’s Day, a driver fleeing New York City police officers reportedly struck numerous vehicles before speeding onto a sidewalk and hitting a food truck. “Black Panther” actor and stuntwoman Carrie Bernans was pinned underneath the food truck and taken to the hospital with severe injuries.
“Police said officers were responding to ‘a possible crime’ at the intersection of West 33rd St. and 7th Ave., near Penn Station, and were trying to intervene in a dispute in a vehicle,” the Associated Press reports.
The driver was allegedly fleeing from a hit-and-run. Bernans was out celebrating with her friends trying to leave the Times Square festivities when the “Mercedes came barreling down 34th Street the wrong way.”
Mohamed Alaouie, the driver who is also hospitalized, is now “facing multiple charges, included attempted murder.”
According to Bernan’s publicist, while she is currently in critical condition, doctors expect her to make a full recovery. “Her family is forever grateful for the love and support they have received since this tragic accident happened this morning in NYC. They are grateful to God that her son was not with her and that he is safe and with her family. She is receiving excellent care and has a long road of healing and rehabilitation ahead. Her family kindly asks that you keep her in your thoughts and prayers at this time.”
“Carrie is such a wonderful person,” Patricia Lee, Bernan’s mother told local news outlet ABC7. Despite the tragic situation, Lee remains optimistic. “Some people may say we started New Year’s off in a negative way,” Lee stated. “We started New Year’s off with all of our children. And this one wasn’t lost.”
In addition to playing an uncredited member of the Dora Milaje in the “Black Panther” movie, she was also a stuntwoman in “The Color Purple” musical released in theaters last December.
Heartbreakingly, this isn’t the first car crash affecting a member of the “Black Panther” cast. Actor and stuntman Taraja Ramsess died last November after being involved in a fatal car crash.