Pregnant woman killed in crash, baby saved

August 15, 2008 5:14:00 AM PDT
A baby was delivered by emergency C-section following a horrific accident in the Bronx, but the mother later died at the hospital.Authorities say the accident happened at 188th Street and Webster Avenue in the Fordham section around 2 p.m.

Officials say 33-year-old Donnette Sanz, a New York City traffic enforcement agent who was 8 months pregnant, was hit by an out-of-control van and somehow ended up pinned underneath a small yellow school bus.

Eyewitnesses say they heard the van coming down 188th Street, with its breaks screeching. It appeared the van struck the woman as she was crossing Webster Avenue, throwing her into the path of the bus.

More than a dozen people left their homes, cars and area businesses to lift the bus and pull the woman out before paramedics arrived.

"We all ran to the bus and tried to pick the bus up to get the lady out from underneath the bus," witness Shawn Smith said. "And after we got underneath the bus, we realized she was pregnant."

Sanz was rushed to St. Barnabas Hospital, where doctors performed the emergency procedure to save the baby boy. Sanz later died at the hospital.

The baby is listed in critical condition in the neonatal intensive care unit.

The driver of the van, identified as 72-year-old Walter Walker, stayed at the scene, and appeared to be devastated at the injuries he caused. He was placed under arrest. Charges are pending.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he has spoken with Sanz' husband and expressed his condolences.

Bloomberg says he hopes as the child grows up he comes to understand that his mother gave her life in service to the city and that its residents are forever grateful.



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