Abdul Reshad Fedahi, 44, had only been driving for the car service since October

By Andrea Billups
Updated February 13, 2015 10:45 AM
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Credit: John Paul Filo/CBS/Getty

The license of the driver of CBS newsman Bob Simon’s car had been suspended nine times for failing to pay fines prior to the wreck that killed the veteran broadcast journalist, the New York Post reports.

According to the Post, police investigating the crash said the driver, Abdul Reshad Fedahi, who originally hails from Afghanistan, likely hit the gas instead of his brake after sideswiping another vehicle while driving a Lincoln Town Car on New York City’s West Side Highway on Wednesday.

Fedahi also had a dead arm from a previous suicide attempt, giving him only one limb with which to steer, according to police, who are releasing details in the accident. The car, which was speeding, later swerved and crashed into a metal barrier that separated the road’s north and southbound lanes.

Simon, 73, said the Post, was crushed as he rode in the backseat without a seatbelt and had to be removed from the wreck through the vehicle’s roof. His injuries were extensive, including a broken neck and severe stomach and head trauma.

“The car is crushed. He was crushed. He had broken legs. His chest was crushed,” a Post source said.

The eloquent former foreign correspondent and 60 Minutes star later died at Roosevelt Hospital after arriving in cardiac arrest.

The driver, Fedahi, lives in a homeless shelter. He was hospitalized with two broken legs and has not been charged in the crash, the Post said. He had only been driving for his livery company, Skyline Credit Ride, since October. The car service had been under contract with CBS for 30 years.

Fedahi had a probationary license with the Taxi and Limousine Commission at the time of the crash that was suspended pending the investigation into the fatal wreck.

Both Fedahi and the driver of the other vehicle involved in the wreck passed Breathalyzer tests, NBC New York reported, citing police sources.

Fedahi had only two moving violations against his personal driving record, the Post said, citing Department of Motor Vehicles records. They included one for going five miles over the speed limit last September and another in January 2014 for “disobeying a traffic device.” All of his nine license suspensions had been cleared prior to Wednesday’s accident.