2008_10_e14crash2.jpgAfter two young women who died early Saturday morning when they were hit by two cabs traveling in opposite directions, witnesses have shed some light on the circumstances surrounding the tragedy. Well into a long night that included seeing the band Stereolab play earlier in the evening at Irving Plaza, Stephanie Dees and Ann Sullivan were leaving Bella's Famous Pizza at 3:20 a.m. when they were struck by the taxis while crossing 14th Street at 1st Avenue.

Both women were walking south when they were struck by a cab traveling west. Then Dees was thrown into a second cab that was traveling east. A witness told the NY Times that the light was turning yellow, "This one taxi tried to beat the light. He hit the first girl. She flew up and into oncoming traffic. He ran over the second girl.

But the drivers, who were not charged, claimed they had green lights. Cab driver Ameen Chaudhry told the Daily News, "It happened so quickly; I stopped immediately... It was a green light for both of us. They were crossing during the don't-walk signal." And the other driver Jean Dorismond spoke to the Post, "The other car hit them first and threw her into my windshield. I thought someone had thrown something at my windshield. My light was green. The other guy's light was green, too. I didn't see them at all."

Both cab drivers stayed at the scene where good Samaritans attempted to tend to the victims to no avail. An employee from Bella's described the girls as "good-natured" to the Daily News, telling how they had just moments before been playfully taking pictures with a patron who had fallen asleep at one of the tables. Dees, a native Briton who lived in Astoria, will have a funeral held for her in Syracuse, where her grandparents live. There was no word yet from Sullivan's family.