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An official with law enforcement said a preliminary investigation leans toward speed being a factor. Sources said Simon, who was riding in the backseat, was not wearing his seatbelt.
Police are currently reconstructing the accident to determine what if any criminal action will be taken. No working cameras were near the location of the crash and both drivers blew zero on their Breathalyzer tests, said an official.
Simon, who was a correspondent on 60 Minutes and traveled, as a journalist to 67 countries during his career that started during the 1960s, was 73.
He died when the vehicle he was riding in, a Lincoln Town Car, struck the driver’s side of a Mercedes that was stopped at a red light. The Town Car then crashed into metal barriers that were separating the two lanes of traffic, according to a report released by the NYPD.
The crash left the Town Car a mangled heap of steel. Simon who suffered chest and head injuries was not responsive at the crash scene and was pronounced dead when he arrived at the hospital.
Police will interview the driver of the car Simon was riding in and determine if speed had been a factor. The driver of the Mercedes said the Town Car swerved into him. He added that after hitting him it looked as if the driver of the Town Car lost control.
The driver of the Simon car was in stable condition with injuries to his arms and legs. The driver of the Mercedes was not injured in the accident.
The Town Car was mangled so bad that the Jaws of Life had to be used to pry open the vehicle’s roof to extract Simon.
Simon today is best known for working on 60 Minutes, but reported on the Vietnam War, the Yom Kippur War, the Tiananmen Square incident and the Gulf War. He won 27 Emmys during his career.
In the Gulf War, Simon was captured with four TV crewmembers and held 40 days after he crossed into Iraq.