Entries in Taxi (2)


Friends Host Benefits for DJ Injured by Runaway Taxi

Roger Kisby/Getty Images(PORTLAND, Ore.) -- New York City disc jockey Jonathan Toubin is in critical condition after a runaway taxi put him in a Portland, Ore., hospital, instead of the venue where he was scheduled to perform Thursday night.

A Radio Cab taxi slammed into the Jupiter Hotel Thursday morning where Toubin had stayed the previous night. The cab flew through the hotel window and came to a stop on top of the bed where Toubin was still lying, according to Portland Fire and Rescue firefighter Paul Corah.

Toubin, well-known for DJing some of the biggest parties in New York City under the name New York Night Train, was in town for a gig at a Southeast Portland club Thursday night.

Portland police officer Stuart Palmiter and three hotel maintenance workers were able to free the car’s wheels, and one of the men jumped in the car to back it out of the hotel room.

But Toubin already had several broken bones and had suffered critical injuries to his kidneys and liver, his friends told ABC affiliate KATU. He was transported to nearby Oregon Health and Science University, Corah said.

The cab driver, identified as 52-year-old Terry Uding, had suffered some sort of medical emergency that was thought to have caused the crash, Corah said.

Zach Miller, assistant general manager at the Jupiter Hotel, said Uding was conscious and could speak but was visibly shaken after the crash.

Miller said he thought Uding had had a seizure, based on her appearance and demeanor at the scene.

Toubin, semi-conscious but able to talk, was given advanced life support by paramedics who responded at the scene. “The scene was pretty bloody,” Corah said. “We see lots of cars go into buildings, but to have a car drive through the window and on top of a bed someone is in; in 30 years I’ve never seen such a thing.”

Toubin is still in Oregon, but friends and colleagues in New York City, where he is something of a legend among Lower East Side entertainers and fans, are doing their best to send good energy his way. Two venues where Toubin spins weekly -- Motor City and Home Sweet Home -- are hosting benefit shows for him Friday evening, and friends have offered support on the New York Night Train Facebook page.

Francesca Romeo, the owner of Motor City, said her bar will host Wednesday night benefits for Toubin for the rest of the month. She wants to send the funds to accounts Toubin’s booking agent and family have established for his needs in the aftermath of the accident.

Romeo said she and Toubin have been friends for 15 years. Toubin was one of the first people she met in New York when she moved to the city at the age of 20.

And later, Romeo helped Toubin start his DJ career at Motor City: "One day he asked me if he could spin records here and I was like, ‘Sure, just pick a night,’” Romeo said. “He’s been doing it for six years now, and it’s the best party we throw."

“He’s so light-hearted, and he knows everyone and has been a promoter and a DJ for so many years that it’s hard to reach all of the people who know him,” Romeo said. “We just hope he is able to recover.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Jeff Conaway of 'Grease,' 'Taxi' Dead at 60

Michael Bezjian/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Actor Jeff Conaway, who had slipped into a coma earlier this month, has died at the age of 60, according to published reports.

Conaway was best known for his roles as Kenickie in the 1978 smash film Grease and Bobby Wheeler on the TV show Taxi.  He also played Zack Allen on Babylon 5.

Initial reports were that Conaway, who suffered from ill health and had a history of drug and alcohol abuse, had overdosed, but the actor's friend Dr. Drew Pinsky tweeted earlier this week that in fact Conaway had been placed in a medically-induced coma in order to recover from pneumonia and sepsis, a bacterial infection of the blood.  Conaway and Pinsky became friends after Conaway appeared on VH1's Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew in 2008.

While on the show, Conaway appeared to be in poor shape, often using a wheelchair.  He spoke about having suicidal thoughts, and said that he had been abused as a child.  In 2010, his physical condition deteriorated after he suffered a near-fatal fall that resulted in a brain hemorrhage and neck and hip fractures.

Conaway was married twice.  He had no children.

Speaking to ABC News Radio just hours before Conaway died, actress Tawny Kitaen, a friend of the actor's since they appeared together on Celebrity Rehab, said, "If he does go, I promise you, he will be in a much better place.  Having to live the way that he lives right now, I just couldn't do it."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio