A gruesome scene unfolded in lower Manhattan early last night as a woman was hit by an MTA bus driver and dragged for several blocks, according to police.
Police say that they were called to Trinity Place and Exchange Place shortly after 5:30 p.m. last night, where they found a 58-year-old woman woman pinned under the rear of a QM7 bus. EMS pronounced the woman, whose identity is being withheld until her family is notified, dead at the scene. Witnesses told the police that pedestrians had to alert the bus driver that he was dragging someone under the bus.
There were differing reports as to how far the bus dragged the woman. An NYPD spokesperson could only say the woman was dragged for "several blocks," but sources told the Post that she was dragged for six blocks. ABC7 reported that she might have been struck by the Wall Street bull on Broadway, while the MTA told CBS2 that she was hit near the Whitehall Ferry Terminal.
Witnesses Michelle and Andrew Bass told CBS that people, including the driver, initially thought someone was playing a prank. "People were just looking like, I think everyone thought it was fake," Michelle Bass told the site.
Andrew Bass told CBS that the driver got off the bus to check underneath it but then got back on and kept driving. "And then he got back on the bus and started driving, and then the cop stopped him and we just kept walking. The cop banged on the bus and told him to stop, and he came off and said it's a prank, it's a prank."
"I didn't realize it was a body until the second time I looked up under there," witness Benjamin Layton told ABC7. "It looked like, I don't know, maybe a bunch of clothes or something like got caught up in the wheel, got caught up under the axle of the bus."
The bus driver was taken to Beth Israel Hospital for evaluation. He was later identified as Roger Weckworth, a 63-year-old man. Police also say that the have charged him with failure to yield to a pedestrian causing injury and failure to yield to a pedestrian.