Family and friends are distraught over the death of Margaret Fischer (or Fisher), a former nurse and Habitat for Humanity volunteer who was fatally struck in a hit and run on 93rd Street and Columbus Avenue on Friday. One neighbor told the Daily News, "She was a very good-hearted person. Everyone is really upset. She had a lot of friends." Driver Jessica Altruz, 24, was charged with leaving the scene of the incident; she sped away but was stopped a block away by a Good Samaritan. At her arraignment hearing last night, prosecutors say Fischer was struck "with enough force to knock her out of her shoes and launch her like a human projectile across the street."
Altruz, who lives in the Bronx and has a 4-year-old daughter, faces manslaughter charges and was held on $100,000 bail. Her lawyer said the crash was "tragic" but said Altruz pulled over on her own and waited for police to arrive. A relative of hers reportedly shouted, "It wasn't a hit and run!" Investigators don't believe Fischer was in the crosswalk as she crossed, but also believe Altruz may have been speeding at the time. Fischer's neighbor said, "She was a very careful pedestrian who knew the streets well."