Vigil For Cab Driver Kenny Chow

Mack Rosenberg/WCBS 880

Missing Yellow Cab Driver Found Dead In East River; Suicide Suspected

May 27, 2018 - 2:00 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- A vigil was held Sunday after a missing cab driver was found dead in the East River of a suspected suicide.

This was the fifth for-hire driver suicide in New York City in the past six months.

As WCBS 880’s Mike Smeltz reported, family members said Yumain “Kenny” Chow, 56, worked 14-hour shifts just to make ends meet.

Chow bought his taxi medallion in 2011, when prices for the medallions were right around $1 million. At the time, getting a medallion was a guaranteed path to financial independence.

But only a few years after Chow bought his medallion, Uber and then eventually other for-hire services started showing up in the city – challenging what was once a near-monopoly by yellow cabs.

Now owing hundreds of thousands of dollars and seeing no way out, Chow committed suicide earlier this month. He had not been seeing since leaving his cab on 86th Street near the river on May 11.

Chow’s brother, Richard, said his brother lost hope as many other medallion owners looking for justice and fairness have.

They are calling for the city to find a solution to make up for lost financial stability.