MTA officer struck by car at Verrazano Bridge

Kemberly Richardson has the latest from Staten Island.
October 20, 2013 8:35:24 PM PDT
An MTA Bridges and Tunnels officer was critically injured when he was struck by a vehicle Sunday morning at the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

Authorities say 61-year old Thomas Choi, a 10-year veteran, had parked his wrecker truck near the entrance to the Brooklyn-bound lower level of the bridge near the facility administration building when he was struck by a Nissan Maxima with New Jersey plates at around 7:45 a.m.

The 26-year-old female driver from Bayonne remained at the scene. The cause of the accident is under investigation by the NYPD Collision Investigation Squad. The driver and four passengers inside the car were not injured.

"The entire Bridges and Tunnels family is saddened by this tragic event," said Bridges and Tunnels President Jim Ferrara. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Officer Choi, his family and all of his colleagues who work with him daily."

The car struck Officer Choi, sending him into the windshield before being catapulted about 10 feet to the ground. He suffered severe pelvic and head injuries and was unconscious when he was taken by ambulance to Staten Island University North Hospital where his condition remains critical.

The lower level of the bridge is closed at midnight on weekends and reopens around 8 a.m. Choi was in the process of removing barrels blocking the roadway when he was struck. The MTA says electronic message signs and red lights showing the roadway was closed were in place when the accident occurred.