The parents of a New Jersey man fatally run down in the Halloween terror ride along the Hudson River bike path are planning to file the first lawsuit in connection with the attack.
Barbara and James Drake filed notices of claim against the city and the state on Tuesday.
Their son, Darren, 32, was among the eight people killed by ISIS-loving suspect Sayfullo Saipov.
The Drakes charge that the city was aware there were inadequate barriers and signage to prevent a car from barreling down the popular bike path.
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“His parents are heartbroken, especially since this terrible tragedy was completely preventable,” their attorney Rosemarie Arnold said.
The state also received a claim because both the city and state have jurisdiction over the bike path.
Police issued around 50 summonses last year to drivers who drove on the path, rather than the West Side Highway, Arnold said.
Some of those motorists were drunk, she said. But most hadn’t realized they were driving on a bike path because the signs were so “inadequate,” Arnold explained.
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Saipov, the papers noted, cased the area and drove by the greenway in an Uber days before the attack.
He “knew in advance that he would have unfettered access to the plaintiff and other victims,” Arnold said.
The morning before he died, Drake, an avid cyclist, told his mother that he was disappointed because he was too busy at work to get a bike ride in, according to Arnold.
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A canceled appointment allowed Drake, who worked as a project manager at Moody’s, to take a midday ride, putting him on course with Saipov, 29.
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Drake was pursuing a second Master’s degree when he was mowed down by Saipov in a truck rented from a Home Depot in New Jersey.
Twelve people were injured as Saipov sped down the path along the West Side Highway from Houston St. to Chambers St. on the afternoon of Oct. 31.
Saipov has allegedly pledged loyalty to ISIS and shouted “Allahu akbar” — “God is great” — after the carnage.
Since the bloodshed, protective barriers have been installed along the path.
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“This incident was tragic. The city will review the notice of claim,” a city Law Department spokesman said.
Drake, an only son, lived with his parents in their New Milford home.
He had a bachelor’s degree in political science from Rutgers University and a master’s degree in business administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He was working toward a second master’s, at Stevens Institute of Technology.
The Drakes plan to use any money they win through the case to establish a foundation to provide grants for higher education in their son’s name, their attorney said.
“We hope that this case will help to keep other American families from being as devastated as we are and will be for the rest of our lives,” Drake’s parents said.
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