The US Police Department has described footage from the crash of a black SUV on I-5 that killed three people in New York City as “shocking and disturbing” and said it was “looking into” the footage.
The accident happened near the New York University-Columbia University Medical Center on Wednesday evening.
A police report says the SUV hit a pedestrian who died in the crash.
“The officer who was on the scene was stunned by the video footage and it has shocked and disturbed him,” NYPD Deputy Commissioner Ronald Vitiello said.
It is not clear how the footage was filmed, but police said the officer saw a white SUV with “high beams” and “no front fenders” approach the scene.
The officer “was immediately concerned for his safety”, the police report said.
“He had not been in a car accident before,” Vitiella said.
He added that the officer was “trying to maintain situational awareness”.
A black SUV hit the pedestrian, and he died later at the hospital.
Video of the crash, which was posted on social media, shows two vehicles passing in opposite directions on the freeway before the black SUV slammed into a median.
A bystander can be seen trying to help the driver, but the driver’s bodyguard pushes him away.
The car’s driver then turns around and tries to get away again, before slamming into another car on the shoulder.
Two other people in the SUV are injured.
The driver and his passenger were both arrested and charged with reckless driving and hit and run, police said.
The driver and the passenger, who was not hurt, have been released from police custody.
Video shows the white SUV turning right onto a driveway and leaving a side street before striking a tree.
“The driver is seen running away, and the other passenger is seen pushing the car into the tree,” the police investigation report said, adding the driver and passenger were “unconscious”.
Police did not release the names of the drivers.
“We’re looking into it,” Vitiollo said of the footage, which he said was “quite disturbing”.
“There’s no doubt in my mind the officers were very surprised and shocked by it, and we’re looking at it.”
The officer’s name has not been released.
More to come.