A pedestrian was killed by a Department of Sanitation truck this morning.
The police are still gathering information, but confirmed that at 10:12 a.m., the pedestrian was hit by the DSNY truck at West 15th Street and 7th Avenue. The victim was declared dead at the scene.
Update: An hour after the incident, there were at least two dozen police officers at the scene with about 100 feet of West 15th blocked off for the investigation. The sanitation truck and the victim's body were still there as well.
Witnesses say that the victim was a woman in her 50s who had chased her dog into the street. Edward Sanders said, "She had a leash and everything but it just got loose... I've seen her because I have dogs too and she walks her dog here all the time."
He said, "I called 911 and said it was a truck accident that was fatal because when I saw her, she was..." He stopped to sigh and explained he could tell that she had been killed right away, "This happened so fast, she was reaching, trying to grab her dog and then she was under the truck before you know it, and it was done. She tried to grab for the dog, under the truck. The driver didn't even know it."
Another resident, Mario who lives on 17th Street, said, "The dog got away form her and ran across the street [from the south to the north side of 15th], and when she chased the dog the truck hit her. They say the wheel hit her head. She's underneath the truck." Witnesses were screaming.
Sanders, who described the truck as idling and moving very slowly down the street, also said another Sanitation worker had yelled, "Stop!" at the driver, but the driver didn't hear. The driver was "very upset," he said. The Sanitation workers were in an ambulance being treated.
The dog was with the police officers, seemingly unscathed, panting and playing with what appeared to be neighbors at the scene, inside of the cordoned zone.
Reporting by Scott Heins