Town revokes cab company’s permits following Sunday’s crash

A taxi cab crashed into this parked pickup truck Sunday night, officials said. (Credit: Jennifer Gustavson)
A taxi cab crashed into this parked pickup truck Sunday night, officials said. (Credit: Jennifer Gustavson)

A Riverhead taxi and limo company has had its permits revoked in the wake of a Sunday night crash in Polish Town that sent a taxi passenger to a local hospital. 

On Tuesday, at the request of Supervisor Sean Walter, Town Clerk Diane Wilhelm issued a letter to Day and Night Taxi and Limo, Inc. revoking its permits to operate a cab on several grounds. According to the town, Day and Night Taxi and Limo’s owner, Mohammad Gondal, failed to ensure cab driver Charles Williams, 23, had a permit to drive a cab in Riverhead and didn’t keep proper logs. In addition, the town alleges, the company’s license contains false or misleading statements.

“This is ridiculous … At this point, they should not be in business in this town,” Supervisor Sean Walter said Monday.

Mr. Williams was issued a traffic violation for being an unlicensed operator after he crashed on Pulaski Street near Hamilton Avenue Sunday evening, police said.

Authorities said he became distracted when “picking up an item off the floor of the vehicle” and swerved across the street, smashing his cab into a Nissan pickup truck parked on the other side of the road. His passenger suffered a “serious head injury” and was airlifted to Stony Brook University Medical Center. A hospital spokesperson said Monday that the victim was treated for his injuries and released. Mr. Williams was uninjured in the accident.

Day and Night Taxi and Limo is entitled to appeal the town’s decision to revoke its license. Should the company appeal the decision, its fate would lie in the hands of the Town Board, which would have the authority to suspend, revoke or uphold the clerk’s decision.

Taxi operator records show that Day and Night Taxi and Limo has registered seven different drivers since 2011 and their newest driver was registered July 2. They currently hold two operator permits. “We’ve been pretty aggressive going after everybody in the past year, getting everybody to sign up,” Mr. Walter said.

Nonetheless, he said, “Bad people are going to do bad things no matter what you do as a town or government. I intend to make sure the police department is looking for these vehicles and writing them tickets. I’m not going to tolerate this, nor should the residents.”