Police: Officer struck by Russian diplomat’s car on FDR Drive

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NEW YORK (AP) – A police officer directing traffic on a busy parkway was struck by a car driven by a Russian diplomat whose immunity limited his culpability to seven traffic tickets, authorities said Sunday.

The accident occurred shortly after 9 p.m. Saturday, when the car swerved around traffic cones set up because of construction on the parkway, the FDR Drive, police said.

The officer, whose name was not immediately released, was taken to a hospital near where the accident occurred, at East 108th Street, police spokeswoman Officer Kathleen Price said. He had minor injuries to his knees and was in stable condition, she said.

The driver of the car, Ilya Sergeyevich Morozov, initially was taken into custody but was eligible for diplomatic immunity and was not charged criminally, police said.

He was given seven desk appearance tickets citing him for speeding in a posted work zone, driving while ability impaired by alcohol, failing to use a designated lane, operating a motor vehicle on the sidewalk, operating a motor vehicle on the shoulder, improperly entering from a controlled highway and failing to comply with a lawful order by a police officer.

The Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations said Morozov accidentally entered the area, which usually is open for driving, but didn’t hit the officer.

“Mr. Morozov has not received any charges in hitting a policeman,” mission press secretary Maria Zakharova said by telephone Sunday evening. “He himself also claims that there was not any hit or physical contact with the policeman.”

The decades-old Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive, or Route 907L, runs about 9.5 miles along the east side of Manhattan. The state Department of Transportation began a long-term rehabilitation project on the heavily trafficked and often congested parkway in December 2002.

AP-ES-04-23-06 2029EDT

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