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Van crash victim talks to EWN

March 29, 2009 8:05:46 PM PDT
A woman who watched her pregnant friend die under the wheels of a runaway van told her story of survival to Eyewitness News. An expectant mother and her close friend were plowed down by a suspected drunk driver. One of the women died at the scene. The other is left grief-stricken and bewildered by her own survival.

She talked with Eyewitness News reporter Lucy Yang.

"I heard acceleration from a car, and I was under the van," Tassia Katsiambanis said.

The accident happened on Friday night. The two women, colleagues and working mothers who grew to be close friends, were leaving their office together when a van suddenly jumped the curb on East 37th street in Midtown.

"I screamed and screamed to people to please help her," Katsiambanis said. "She was pregnant."

Katsiambanis, 37, found herself under the van. Her dislocated elbow will heal, but her broken heart will not.

"I don't know how to put the pieces back together," she said.

Ysemny Ramos, 29, was killed in the crash. She was almost three months pregnant and was planning to celebrate her anniversary that night with her husband, who is now left with the brutal task of explaining to their little children why their mother will never come home again.

As for the driver of the van, police believe 27-year-old Keston Brown was drunk behind the wheel. Some eyewitnesses say he was making cat calls at the women right before the accident. Tassia doesn't remember that, or seeing the van actually hit them. What she does remember is a once in a lifetime friend who still had so much more to give.

"I'm blessed to have known her," she said. "I'm lost over the fact she's gone. I don't know how to go back to work and look at her desk."


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