[SCROLL DOWN FOR UPDATE]
A 27-year-old woman was fatally struck by a delivery truck driver in Manhattan this morning.
The NYPD says officers responded to a 911 call that came in around 5:45 a.m. about a pedestrian who was struck at East 37th Street and 3rd Avenue. First responders found the unnamed woman in the street with trauma to her body, and EMS pronounced her dead at the scene.
An NYPD spokesperson said the NYPD's Collision Investigation Squad believes the victim was walking north at the intersection of 3rd Avenue and East 37th Street when the truck driver turned left onto 37th and hit her. The Post reports she was "pulling a small suitcase."
"Unfortunately, it was one of our trucks that was involved in the accident," Chris Fazio, a spokesperson at Approved Oil, confirmed to Gothamist this morning.
"From what I understand the driver did have the right of the way... We're cooperating with authorities," Fazio said, noting the driver did stay at the scene. "Our thoughts and prayers go out the family.
The driver has not been charged. The NYPD says the investigation is still ongoing.
UPDATE 1:00 p.m. The victim has been identified as Sarah Foster, a 27-year-old Manhattan resident. On Friday afternoon, police arrested the truck driver, 51-year-old Steven McDermott, and arrested him on charges of failure to yield to a pedestrian and failure to exercise due care. Both charges are misdemeanors, and carry a penalty of up to $500 in fines and a maximum 30 days in jail, under New York's Right-of-Way law.
In a statement, Transportation Alternatives Interim Executive Director Ellen McDermott called Foster's death a "shocking, preventable tragedy" that highlighted the need for better protections for pedestrians on Third Avenue.
"Third Avenue is a six-lane highway running through a pedestrian-dense and largely residential part of Manhattan, with no visible traffic-calming measures in place," she said. "If the New York City Department of Transportation had installed simple, commonsense, low-cost improvements to this dangerous street, this woman would be alive today. Pedestrian refuges, protected intersections, and daylighting—removing parking spaces at intersections to improve turn visibility—cost next to nothing and protect every New Yorker as they cross the street."
She continued, "Drivers of large vehicles and professional working drivers, like the truck driver who killed this 27 year-old, bear a great responsibility to travel with caution in crowded urban environments. But the best way to force every driver to travel with care is to design streets that mandate safe behavior. As a nearby resident, this crash is a terrifying wake-up call. It's long past time for Mayor de Blasio to make Third Avenue safe, before another New Yorker is killed or injured."