Car crashes into fire hydrant; 1 dead, driver arrested

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Police have arrested the driver of a car that hopped the curb on 6th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan and slammed into a fire hydrant, killing a passenger, authorities said.

Witnesses told police the 2004 Nissan Altima sped up before it hit the hydrant at 54th Street at about 3:45 a.m. Tuesday. The NYPD said the driver, Shiva Sharma, 32, of Wyandanch, New York, lost control. Medics rushed him to Bellevue Hospital in critical condition.

The passenger, Juan Avila, 33, of Jackson Heights, Queens, was rushed to St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital where he died, police said.

6th Avenue was closed between 54th and 55th Streets as the NYPD's Collision Investigation Squad worked the scene.

Police have charged Sharma with vehicular manslaughter.