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Drunk Driver Who Killed Pedestrian Faces 7 Years in Prison

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May 22, 2011 By Christian Murray

A drunk driver who ran over a 62-year-old woman on Friday while she was crossing a busy Woodside street faces seven years in prison.

Claudius Taylor, who was driving a white Ford Explorer, was charged with vehicular manslaughter in the 2nd degree and DWI, according to the Queens District Attorney’s office. Taylor, a 54-year Hispanic man, faces up to 7 years in prison. He has no record of prior incidents.

(UPDATE) The Queens District Attorney’s office identified Taylor as being from 279 Blue Mountain Lake, East Stroudsburg, Pa.

Taylor ran over Shenyu Chin at 8:30 am Friday while she was at the 61st and Roosevelt Ave. crosswalk.

Chin, who was pronounced dead upon arrival at Elmhurst General Hospital, was thrown some distance after being struck by the SUV, and her shoes and socks were knocked off upon impact.

The Ford Explorer was traveling west toward Sunnyside, while Chin was crossing the street from the northern side of Roosevelt Ave. to the southern side.

A witness to the incident said that Chin had the walk signal and was entitled to cross, and believed that the SUV driver was going faster than the 30 MPH speed limit.

It took a few minutes for fire and rescue to get to the crowded Woodside scene. The witness said he couldn’t really look at the Chin because her injuries were too severe. He said people had started to give Chin CPR before EMS arrived.

(See stories and comments since Friday)

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29 Comments

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Luciano L

This very same individual was in Central Bookings at the same time I was, but my charge was for trespassing reasons not related to this individuals case… I had asked this guy what he was in there for and he replied in spanish that he had no recollection at all of what had happened, he then showed me a paper with his current charges which stated that he is being charged with vehicular manslaughter. when i told him he was in shock he couldn’t believe it, He appeared to be heavily intoxicated at the time of the incident. Imagine taking away somebody’s life and not even remembering the next day that you did it. CRAZY SHIT… Hopefully everyone who reads these blogs leave here today and remember DONT DRINK AND DRIVE and if your on foot ALWAYS LOOK BOTH WAYS BEFORE YOU CROSS the street even if you have the right of way…

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Chien Family Friend

Vin,

I am a family friend of Mrs. Chien and attended her funeral today.

You talk about this ruining Mr. Taylor’s life?

AT LEAST HE STILL HAS A LIFE.

END OF ARGUMENT. SHUT UP.

Oh also I’ve lived in Woodside for 20+ years and NEVER have I seen the MTA abandon a derelict truck blocking the intersection. There are also police at the station several times a month (it’s a major station) and I’m sure they would have said something as well. Stop inventing stories and making excuses for Mr. Taylor. (Thanks Matt for finding that out, I will try to pass it along). Let’s say somehow it truly was an honest accident, point being, there is NO EXCUSE for killing someone with a car. PERIOD. “Oh, you killed my mom but you insist it was an accident? No problem! Want to come in and have some coffee, watch some Pay-Per-View, order a pizza, get a foot rub, and have sex with my wife?” GIVE ME A BREAK.

Oh, and also for the record, Mrs. Chien was a law abiding pedestrian, not some punk kid running carelessley through traffic. She walked that same route every weekday morning for the past 10 years. She must be doing something right if she never got hit in 10 years walking that intersection. She was always responsibly mindful of traffic signs whenever I walked with her. She was also 60+ years old, maybe 5 feet tall, so I doubt she would’ve be running anywhere, ever.

I also don’t think we want to get in the conversation of whose life was worth more. Operate heavy machinery? Long commute? BOO-frakking-HOO. Mrs. Chien got killed the morning after returning from a vacation in Taiwan, and her family that she saw 24 hours ago on the other side of the world had to then fly here to bury her. Now, THAT’S a long commute. BEAT THAT. He’s not even really sorry, otherwise he would have attempted to apologize somehow to the Chien family (you apologize for spilling soda on someone, but not for killing their mom/wife/sister???).

But if you want to play this game, then in the afterlife, when they are ready to be judged, this is what whichever deity you belive in will compare them on:

Mr. Taylor: ONE vehicular manslaughter conviction

Mrs. Chien: ZERO vehicular manslaughter convictions

END OF ARGUMENT. SHUT UP.

Vin, you must be some whole new breed of fool to think ANYTHING is worse than death, or excuses the taking of an innocent life. I hope you are the only and last of your kind, and may your cursed seed never set foot on this earth.

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matt

claude was out partying all night and went to work at Tutur Perrini as an operating engineer… perrini sent him to a pump, however at coffee a perrini foreman gave him a ride to retrive his car and while rushing back hit this poor woman.. the Chien family should get an inveastigator and good lawyer.. Claude was employed at the harold structures amtrack, lirr sunnyside yards…

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Irate

Vin,

Obviously you know how to drive better than most of us and defensive driving means nothing.

So why don’t you keep practicing speeding through an intersection and tell me where that gets you. Give me your full name. I will look for you in the police reports. Your life will resemble something you won’t believe in comics.

If a person had to drive 2 hours each way, then that person has to be EXTRA careful due to factors such as driving fatigue. Isn’t that something that makes sense? Is that something that needs further debate? Do you need a PhD in driving to figure that out? If he drives for a living, shouldn’t he be a better driver than anyone else and drive more carefully? Especially when driving a heavier vehicle as an SUV?

Your comments are unapologetic, inflammatory, and heavily one-sided. If your loved one gets killed by a reckless driver, let’s see how comic-al it is for you. Let’s see how you react to a dismissive comment of “it was merely an accident.”

You have lost accountability and reason. Good luck convincing anyone.

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vin

@WOODSIDE,WHERE DID YOU GET YOUR FACTS FROM? A COMIC BOOK? YOUR REPORTING ON THIS INCIDENT IS AS IRRESPONSIBLE AS THIS TABLOIDS. HE FAILED THE TEST AT HE SCENE? WRONG!HE REFUSED A 2ND TEST?WRONG!WHO DRINKS FOR BREAKFAST?WRONG AGAIN!THE ONLY THING YOU GOT RIGHT WAS ABOUT THE MTA,THAT DOES THAT ALL THE TIME,AND HAS BEEN DOING IT FOR YEARS,SO WAKE UP ! NEXT TIME YOU DECIDE TO AIR YOUR USELESS OPINION,MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR TALKING ABOUT. GET YOUR FACTS RIGHT. THIS IS A MANS REPUTATION AT STAKE.THIS WAS A VERY UNFORTUNATE ACCIDENT FOR ALL INVOLVED.I AM ALSO NOT GOING TO GET TOO PERSONAL IN MR TAYLORS LIFE,BUT WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT DRIVING? WHAT MAKES YOU AN EXPERT ON DRIVING.DO YOU DRIVE FOR A LIVING? DO YOU HAVE A CDL. WELL MR TAYLOR DOES. CAN YOU OPERATE HEAVY EQUIPTMENT?WELL MR TAYLOR CAN.DO YOU TRAVEL 2HRS EACH WAY TO WORK EVERY DAY? WELL MR TAYLOR DOES. AND MAY I ADD WITHOUT ANY PRIOR INCIDENTS.LEAVE THE POOR GUY ALONE AND GO BACK TO READING THE COMICS

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Woodside

vin: I see that you are a friend of Claudius. He must not be a bad person if he stopped his car after the incident. From your kinship with him, he sounds like a good man. There is no one here being racist. You are reading too much into the posts.

If a person is familiar with the intersection at all, he should know that it is a major intersection. Defensive driving teaches you to slow down at an intersection, not accelerate, blind spots or no. It was an unlucky day for all parties involved.

Sample Defensive Driving Question:
What is a good practice when nearing an intersection?
(The answer is obvious — or perhaps not obvious?)

I’m not sure that’s the case here but, another thing to consider is that being rushed is the worst mindset to be driving, yet it is a very common reason to drive — to get somewhere faster.

All trucks and SUVs have no business parking at corners or adjacent to driveways, but they do it anyway. In some areas of NJ, they have the right idea and disallow parking at street corners.

In any case, I hope all parties involved find peace.

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vin

hey all you doosh bags. mr taylor was not drinking,and works very hard. hes an extremely hard working guy who is a family man himself.he has feelings and is a very responsible guy.just because you refuse a test doesnt mean chit. the guy is a gentleman who happens to be very upset over what happened. who the eff cares if hes hispanic or from the effin moon,hes also a human being with feelings you stupid f**ks. it was an accident. hes a good guy who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.lay the eff off!the police should look into what a previous reader posted about the m.t.a. trucks hanging out on the corner,illegally,may i add,that block the intersection.they think that they can stay there and go for coffee without consequence,well this is what happens. its the same with the sanitation. if your gonna pick on this man for being hispanic,whats next,the stupid asian woman shouldnt have been running across the street? how dare you,this god forbid should never happen to you.are you people stupid or just ignorant.claude taylor is a good man thats loved by people of all races,and that includes me,and incase it matters im as white as can be.its a horrible situation for both families.i hope that poor lady rests in peace, and her family realizes it was an accident

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Chien

To whoever left the green flowers and the roses at the corner….thank you (if you’re still following this story)

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Susan

Even sober people in this area drive aggressively and, often, too fast. “Aggressively” doesn’t even describe it well enough. Every time I think I’ve seen the most insane driver, another one comes along.

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Woodside

One glaring question: Who drinks alcohol for breakfast?

He failed the breath test at the scene. And he refused the re-test when he was moved to another facility. You cannot get charged for DWI in NYC if you refuse the test.

Let’s end the DWI conversation and talk about something irrefutable.

There was a blind spot because of an MTA vehicle parked on the curb.

You can calculate the physics to figure out the speed, but he was speeding past a red light (accelerating!), despite an obvious blind spot, and threw the victim 100 ft upon impact.

It doesn’t take alcohol to be reckless.

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White

it doesn’t take a few drinks to have a DWI, he would have to blow a .08 which means 1 drink in an hours time would make him blow a .10 so how do you determine he had a “few” drinks. just for everyones information he was given the “DWI” because he refused the breathalyzer test at the scene. drinking or not drinking, any lawyer would tell you to refuse any tests at the scene.

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No Excuse for Drunk Driving.

I have no compassion for the drunk driver. There is no excuse for drunk driving.

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Woodside

For Mrs Chien to have been tossed 100 ft, drunk or not, the driver must have been going at an excess of 50MPH AND against a red light AND in a high pedestrian zone during getting-to-work-hours as it was at the base of a subway crossing.

One has to have been drinking a lot and given insufficient purge time to be declared DWI. That’s more than just “a few drinks.” I can speak for myself in that I don’t allow it to happen. I know how serious DWI is taken in Japan.

Defensive driving classes I have attended spoke greatly against drinking and driving. Defensive driving teaches about preventing accidents and teaches that there are no such thing as accidents.

Steve, I don’t agree with your delivery, but I get your point. The Taylor family will suffer as well. Who knows what the circumstances were leading up to the incident and how his family’s karma and conscience will be affected.

“Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living…”

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Steve

There are two Families effected by this tradegy for all who want him hung. Ask your self this question have I ever got behind the wheel when you had a few drinks. And I don’t think he woke up that morning thinking he was going to kill someone. Lets show the Chein Family some respect and not make this a daily conversation piece.

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RM

This was a horrible situation that definitely impacted two families. However, according to the reports, this was a DWI. I don’t think people are passing judgement but it is hard to feel compassion for the man that caused the accident. He will be able to resume his life after the 7 years or less he serves and his family will be able to visit him. The Chien family have lost their mother. In my opinion, there is no comparison.

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Anonymous 725

Everyone should remember before passing judgment (which is something only God can do) that there are two families impacted by this horrible situation. The man that is awaiting his changed future, could have had a wife, children, grandchildren, friends, and a host of love ones. My heart and prayers go out to both families and prayers for continued strenghth for all!

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White

hey Lucky Lu……he’s Panamanian…..they just called him hispanic cuz its easier to say that. how many Panamanians do you know? i’m glad your versed in the last names of all hispanic people. that is his real name and you should learn a thing or two before you speak.

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Jeanne

There are no words to express how saddened and outraged are the people of the Woodside Community. Know that this avoidable tragedy will be forever in our minds. I feel some comfort in knowing this wonderful person, my friend was there holding her hand. God put him there for a reason, so she would not be alone. My deepest condolences to the Chien family. Rest In Peace Mrs. Chien.

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Anonymous

Claude is from panama .. that is his real name and i believe this is his 2nd dwi.
i hope he gets a lot more than 7 years..

SUNNYSIDE POST>
Hi. Sunnyside Post here. The information about the alleged perpetrator has been triple checked with the Queens District Attorney’s office.

As it appears in the story.

Alleged perpetrator: Claudius Taylor, 54-year-old Hispanic man from PA, charged with vehicular manslaughter 2nd degree, DWI. Taylor faces up to 7 years in prison. He has no priors.

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RockyII

Prayers for the family. For the record, there are Panamanians with names such as “Taylor” which are very Americanized but I don’t know what the ethnicity of this person is.

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Sorry for the Chien Family

I was able to communicate to one of the sons, as I happened to be 1 of the 3 who were directly performing CPR and comforting her before the police and EMTs arrived. Each day and night since then the accident and the aftermath are replayed in my mind and dreams at night constantly. I especially think about all the suffering her family is going through imagining what would I do, or what could I have done, or what might have been but for 1 second of time to alter fate.

I also hope maybe beyond hope that I could meet the other 2 people someday, especially the woman who really stepped up and understood the gravity of the situation and was prepared to respond. Without her, it might be that I could have been completely frozen in shock and not have made all attempts to revive her and comfort her in her moment of need.

Also, I want to tell her family and friends that just about all the people who I know in Woodside, and that’s a lot of people, have heard about this abject tragedy from many sources through the grapevine, and the feelings of communal pain are real, and that to a person each felt that it could have been them. Many people knew her or of her, especially those who frequent 61st Street & Roosevelt Avenue daily.

So there’s this loss, this terrible pit in my stomach and in others who witnessed this totally avoidable situation, and I again say here that the thing I am most sure of is that she did not suffer pain, where comforting thoughts of devoted family and a saddened, outraged community can rest.

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Lucky Lu

His ethnicity isn’t the issue, it’s the possiblity that he’s committing identity theft in addition to the manslaughter. He may have previous convictions and/or arrests for drunk driving under another identity, hence the importance that his true identity is known to authorities. Additionally, the charge can be upgraded to vehicular manslaughter in the first degree if the driver was driving on a suspended or revoked DL (which he would be if he isn’t actually Mr. Taylor and is someone who has predicates). There is a 7 year maximum for the DWI if it’s a third offence and the max for second degree vehicular manslaughter is also 7 years. If it can be bumped up to first degree, the max is 15 years. Also, sentences can run consecutively if judge sees fit, which under the current charges could give “Mr. Taylor” more than the possible 7 years under the vehicular manslaughter charge.

Plus, there’s the issue of Mr. Taylor. Do you know what this sort of identity theft does to someone’s life? This is not mere credit theft, this is something much worse and harder to battle. Again, I hope the authorities do the right thing and get to the bottom of who this guy is, if he indeed isn’t Mr. Taylor.

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justin

I think 7 years is probably sufficient for vehicular homicide, but nobody ever actually serves close to that. I would also hope that the person never gets behind the wheel of a car for the rest of their life, but I doubt that happens either. Stricter penalties for drunk driving when you don’t actually kill anyone is what I’d probably argue for more strongly, or vehicular homicide when you aren’t drunk (which is truly the best way to get away with murder).

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sartke

As long as this man is a legal resident, his ethnicity is beside the point. Drunk drivers come in every color. That you can murder someone and get out in less than 7 years – as long ad you murder them with a car – is simply revolting.

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Lucky Lu

Sounds like identity theft. I wonder if there is a Claudius Taylor in New York who needs to be informed that a 54 year old Hispanic male is assuming his identity for nefarious purposes, including driving drunk and murdering pedestrians. I hope the district attorney and police will attempt to find out the true identity of the drunk driver as well as the real Mr. Taylor so he can clear his name.

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Sunnyside Post

I agree the name doesn’t sound Hispanic. However, this is the information provided by the district attorney’s office and police.

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