A New York City motorist is suing “Cosmos” host Neil deGrasse Tyson for $5 million over a 2012 crash.
Tyson was allegedly driving home from John F. Kennedy International Airport with his wife Alice Young in April 2012, when his 2007 Audi side-swiped a Dodge Intrepid and rear-ended a Mercedes-Benz, which belonged to the executive chairman of the luxury goods firm Coach, Lew Frankfort.
During a 2013 deposition, Tyson said he “kind of zoned and lost attention” while driving on the Van Wyck Expressway in Queens.
Krzysztof Bugajski, 47, a personal assistant driving Frankfort’s Mercedes claims that Tyson had fallen asleep and was driving at an “excessive, illegal and dangerous rate of speed.”
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“Sleep doesn’t feel like the right word to me and probably the word zoning is not a, you know, an official term in anybody’s lexicon, but the drone of the stop and go left me in that state,” said Tyson.
The director of the Hayden Planetarium said he didn’t know he hit the Dodge at first because his car is “well insulated, so the beginning scratch along the Intrepid wasn’t sufficient to sort of snap me out.”
He said when his sideview mirror hit the Dodge it “wakes me up. By then, I’m headed towards the Mercedes, I begin to apply the brakes, it’s too late.”
He’s not sure the Mercedes was moving when he it is, stating that “If it was not stopped, it was moving very slowly and the physics requires that it was moving slower than I was.”
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Bugajski says he suffered a severe shoulder injury that required arthroscopic surgery and ongoing physical rehabilitation. According to court papers, he also sustained a knee injury.
The complaint doesn’t specify monetary damages, by a subsequent court filing shows Bugajski is seeking $5 million for his injuries.