Suspected drunk driver in horror NYC crash that left 3 dead is substance-abuse counselor who wrote ‘The Sober Addict’ (2024)

Suspected drunk driver in horror NYC crash that left 3 dead is substance-abuse counselor who wrote ‘The Sober Addict’ (1)

The suspected drunk driveraccused of mowing down 11 people, killing three,at a Fourth of July celebration on the Lower East Side is a self-described “addict” who painted himself as a well-meaning substance abuse counselor and positive example for others struggling with addiction.

Daniel Christopher Hyden, 44, wrote “The Sober Addict,” a book detailing his rock-bottom experiences with alcohol that he hoped would help save lives – but authorities said his demons caused tragic deaths instead.

“I told him this would happen one day. I told him,” Hyden’s ex-girlfriend, with whom he shares a 12-year-old daughter, told The Post on Friday.

Suspected drunk driver in horror NYC crash that left 3 dead is substance-abuse counselor who wrote ‘The Sober Addict’ (2)

Suspected drunk driver in horror NYC crash that left 3 dead is substance-abuse counselor who wrote ‘The Sober Addict’ (3)

“This is shocking because he hurt people,” the woman, who asked not to be identified, said. “He killed people. I’m so hurt over that.”

Alcohol was the reason the two of them split up, she noted.

Police believe Hyden got into a fight with a bouncer at a downtown bar Thursday night after he was refused entry for already being too drunk, law-enforcement sources said.

The bouncer agreed to refund him for the ticket to the Fourth of July party and sent him on his way about an hour before the deadly crash at nearby Corlears Hook Park, the sources said.

Suspected drunk driver in horror NYC crash that left 3 dead is substance-abuse counselor who wrote ‘The Sober Addict’ (5)

Hyden was charged with aggravated vehicular homicide and other raps after he allegedly drove a gray Ford F-150 through the Water Street and Jackson Street intersection, over the sidewalk and into people celebrating the holiday in the park just before 9 p.m., according to police.

The former New Jersey resident, who now lives in The Bronx, according to neighbors, wrote “The Sober Addict” in 2020. The tome is billed as “a practical guide on how to effectively live and cope with the dysfunctional, lifelong disease of addiction.”

“Within the pages of DC Hyden’s book, addicts, family members, enablers, and helpers will find unconventional ways to combat addiction from Onset to Remission,” the synopsis reads.

“This guide will help you learn how to function with this dysfunctional and chronic illness.”

In the book, Hyden, who has at least three prior arrests in New York Cityand a long rap sheet that spans to Wisconsin, describes himself as an “ex-professional addict… with over 18 years of use and abuse experience” and claims “addicts don’t choose addiction — addiction chooses them.

“My passion is to help my addicted clients successfully move through the various ‘stages of change’ to prevent their deaths,” he wrote.

Suspected drunk driver in horror NYC crash that left 3 dead is substance-abuse counselor who wrote ‘The Sober Addict’ (6)

Suspected drunk driver in horror NYC crash that left 3 dead is substance-abuse counselor who wrote ‘The Sober Addict’ (7)

Hyden also revealed he has “taken many mugshots over the years.”

“I go from intoxicatingly happy to ‘fight night bruised’ to Tasmanian devil angry to not having a hope in the world depressed,” he wrote in the book. “Like many with my disease, my encounters with law enforcement and incarceration have been attributed to my use and abuse.”

Hyden went on to describe his stints in jail as “humbling, demeaning and even enlightening” and recalled that he felt a “sense of finality” when “those metal doors clanked behind me.

“I had anxiety that I might not make it out alive,” he wrote. “Most addicts will eventually get locked up. It’s almost like a right of passage. The more times I went to jail the fewer times people helped me get released.”

Hyden’s Amazon author bio lists him as a substance Abuse Counselor, instructor, public speaker, and wellness advocate in New York City.

“His mission is to use his lifelong experience with addiction to teach addicts how to save themselves and achieve long-term recovery,” it says.

Suspected drunk driver in horror NYC crash that left 3 dead is substance-abuse counselor who wrote ‘The Sober Addict’ (8)

Hyden appears to have dedicated several years to educating himself on addiction and recovery, having obtained a master’s in psychology and addiction counseling, according to records from Aspen University in Denver, Colorado, which did not return a request for comment Friday.

He had also held several positions where he mentored other addicts and was most recently employed by Services for UnderServed (SUS), a non-profit organization based in Midtown, Manhattan, as a program director.

According to his LinkedIn profile, he started that job just three months ago.

“We are deeply saddened by the news of yesterday’s tragedy. Our hearts go out to the victims’ friends and family. As this is an ongoing police investigation, we are unable to comment further,” a SUS spokesperson said in a statement Friday.

He has also recently worked as a counselor at Montefiore and an addiction clinician at Lincoln Hospital, which is part of NYC Health + Hospitals. Montefiore could not be reached for comment on Friday.

“He worked for us for fewer than six months in 2021,” a NY Health rep confirmed in a statement.

Hyden held his head down and ignored questions about the deadly crash from reporters as officers walked him out of the NYPD’s 7th precinct on Pitt Street Friday afternoon. He also faces charges of driving while intoxicated and for not having a valid license, as well as eight counts of assault in the second-degree — and was awaiting arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court.

Suspected drunk driver in horror NYC crash that left 3 dead is substance-abuse counselor who wrote ‘The Sober Addict’ (9)

Suspected drunk driver in horror NYC crash that left 3 dead is substance-abuse counselor who wrote ‘The Sober Addict’ (10)

Suspected drunk driver in horror NYC crash that left 3 dead is substance-abuse counselor who wrote ‘The Sober Addict’ (11)

Terrifying surveillancefootage showed the truck barreling down the streetwith no signs of slowing down at the intersection just before the crash.

The car jumped the curb and into a fence — which did nothing to stop it — sending sparks into the air as the vehicle hurled toward the family, the video shows.

The three killed were identified as Lucille Pinkney, 59, and her son Herman Pinkney, 38 — who lived together near the crash scene — and Ana Morel, 43.

Suspected drunk driver in horror NYC crash that left 3 dead is substance-abuse counselor who wrote ‘The Sober Addict’ (12)

The other eight injured included Herman’s longtime girlfriend Jessica Pellotand her 11-year-old son, Jakob Velazquez,who relatives told The Post was “traumatized” by the loss of his father figure.

Hyden suffered head and facial lacerations and was initially transported to Bellevue Hospital, police said.

As he was led out of the Lower East Side precinct, a Pinkney relative screamed at him: “You don’t deserve air! My sister and my nephew. Remember their names.”

Additional reporting by Caitlin McCormack

Suspected drunk driver in horror NYC crash that left 3 dead is substance-abuse counselor who wrote ‘The Sober Addict’ (2024)

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