Thursday, September 18, 2014

Woman Trying To Retrieve Cell Phone Hit, Killed By Bus In Brooklyn

A woman’s phone had fallen underneath the B44 as it idled on Fulton St. near Halsey St. in Bedford-Stuyvesant about 1:30 p.m. She died at the scene after being pinned under the bus' wheels as it moved forward.

In a terrible 21st Century moment, a woman was crushed to death by an MTA bus in Brooklyn on Wednesday when she reached underneath it to retrieve her cell phone as the driver pulled away from a stop.

The woman, believed to be a 50-year-old, had stepped off the B44 at a stop on Bedford Ave. near Halsey St. in Bedford-Stuyvesant at 1:30 p.m. She fumbled her phone. It came to rest underneath the bus. “The phone slips out of her possession and she tries to get it,” a police source said.

As the woman reached down to the pavement to fetch it, the driver drove away from the curb, pinning her underneath the right rear wheels, cops said.

“I bet the bus driver never saw her,” said witness Tish Harris, 43. “It’s a tragic situation. It gave me butterflies.”

“It’s just sad,” she added.

The woman died on the street.

As investigators began examining the scene, her body, covered by a sheet, remained on the edge of the sidewalk near the bus stop as more than 100 bystanders observed the tragedy’s aftermath.

Her name was not immediately released. She was not carrying identification, and investigators may have to conduct a fingerprint analysis to confirm her identity, police sources said.

The NYPD and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority launched investigations, but the driver was not expected to be summonsed or charged, according to the sources. The front of the bus was equipped with a driver-assisting video camera, but a transit investigator who saw the video said it could not have provided a warning.

“You can’t see nothing,” the investigator said.

Marilyn McDonald, 53, was stunned that someone would risk their life for a smartphone.

“It’s sad to see people run after their cells instead of using common sense,” she said.

Yet some witnesses understood the woman’s actions.

“It’s an instinctive reaction if you drop something,” said Raymond Peters, 50, a resident of the area.

The woman’s death adds to a tally of pedestrian and bicyclist deaths on city streets that shows Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero effort to eliminate traffic fatalities has produced slight improvement.

Through Tuesday there were 88 pedestrian deaths, compared to 109 at that point last year, according to the NYPD. But bicyclist deaths are on the rise — 17 this year, against 8 by this time in 2013.

The NYPD provided a borough-specific breakdown of pedestrian and bicyclist deaths this year through Tuesday.

Manhattan: 19 pedestrians, 4 bicyclists

Bronx: 8 pedestrians

Brooklyn: 29 pedestrians, 6 bicyclists

Queens: 28 pedestrians, 7 bicyclists

Staten Island: 4 pedestrians

Source: Daily News

{NewYorkBuffMedia Newsroom - Photos by Avrumi B}

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