According to NYPD officials, Whilby had been celebrating model Shanina Shaik’s birthday with his uncle at a Greenwich Village club. Bouncers ejected Whilby from club 1 Oak around 3:30 that morning for allegedly acting belligerent. He then reportedly made his way to the nearby Dream Downtown Hotel, where bouncers removed him after he was found passed out on the second floor.
Watch video from the crash site here:
The 22-year-old allegedly became agitated when he couldn’t find a limousine to take him home. He began banging on the entrance doors to two apartment buildings on W. 16th Street.
A superintendent for both buildings said Whilby appeared under the influence.
“He was sweating like a mad dog,” said Victor Vega, who captured Whilby on surveillance video and handed it to cops. “He had to be high on drugs. He started kicking and banging the doors.”
Shortly afterwards, Whilby commandeered an 18 Rabbits Granola truck making a delivery inside the building, Vega said. He then sped out onto the street from a ramp, causing a side door to come off before running a red light.
Seconds later, the truck crashed into a local bus. The impact caused the bus to careen onto a sidewalk at 14th Street and 7th Avenue. Driver William Pena was thrown from his seat. He was found under the bus’s wheels and declared dead at the scene.
Pena was a 17-year veteran of the MTA and leaves behind a 14-year-old daughter.
Friends and family remembered Pena as a hard worker and dedicated father.
“It’s just the wrong place at the wrong time, I guess,” said cousin Edwin Espinal. “That’s what happened to William — an honest, working guy and he paid the consequences. Unbelievable.”
“William was a great person,” said brother Alex Pena. “I can’t say no more about him, great person … He was a great guy every way you can put it.”
The bus and truck smashed into multiple parked cars, a yellow cab, sidewalk scaffolding, a subway entrance and a scooter rider, witnesses said.
Fortunately, Eddie Abdlemoty survived being dragged 50 feet on his scooter. “He didn’t even brake,” Abdelmoty said. “My tires blew up … He went right through the red light at the end of the block.”
Bus passengers suffered minor-injuries in the ordeal. Food vendor Ashraf Marei received burns when the cab collided with his food cart, causing its water line to spew steaming water onto his body.
“He was screaming,” his cousin said. “Hot water burned his body.”
“I thought it was an earthquake,” said Michael Edwards, a security worker who works near the area. “By the time I got outside police were already here.”
Whilby sustained minor neck injuries from the crash, police claim. They took him to Bellevue Hospital for treatment and drug and alcohol testing. He has received 10 charges from the incident, including two counts of grand larceny, three counts of criminal assault, criminal mischief, criminal trespass and manslaughter.