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Witness: NYPD Tow Truck Driver Who Ran Over Elderly Man Was 'Not Paying Attention'

An elderly man crossing West 42nd Street was struck by a NYPD tow truck driver just before noon on Thursday.

The man, walking with a cane, was halfway across the intersection in the crosswalk when the tow truck driver, proceeding up 10th Avenue, turned left into him.

“The NYPD police tow truck…made a really sharp turn while there was people in the crosswalk and she (the driver) ran over this man and pushed him,” said neighborhood resident Allyson Frischer, 47.

“She didn’t stop running over him until I had already been screaming for like a minute. So she didn’t even know she hit him. She was clearly not paying attention,” Frischer added.

Tourist Anna Elizabeth, 59 from Curacao, was shaken as she stood near the scene. “I saw the car drive like crazy and taking the turn while the guy was crossing. All of a sudden, she hit him,” Elizabeth said, noting the man had the walk sign as he crossed.

The tow truck driver stopped near where the unconscious man lay but did not leave her vehicle to check on him. She remained in her truck as several traffic supervisors questioned her.

The collision occurred within sight of the NYPD’s Strategic Response Group building. The first officer on the scene, from the Evidence Collection Team, kneeled down by the injured man before several more officers, firefighters and an ambulance from Mt. Sinai Hospital arrived.

“She didn’t even know she hit him. She kept going,” Frischer said as the man was fitted with a neck brace and carefully placed on a stretcher.

The NYPD's press office said that the crash report was pending and could not say whether the driver had been charged. The victim's current condition is not known.

According to the City Hall Vision Zero View Crash Data Map, as of July 31st there have been 5,790 pedestrian injuries and 57 fatalities citywide. There was one other pedestrian injury at this corner so far this year.

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