East Harlem accident kills woman on birthday

Josh Einiger reports from East Harlem.
November 11, 2013 8:25:19 PM PST
A woman taking a walk on her birthday was killed and three others injured after an accident between a cab and a truck ended up with the truck jumping a curb on East 102nd street in Manhattan.

"It's still like a nightmare that I wish I can wake up. But I'm not," said Vivian Rivera, the victim's daughter.

Vivian Rivera signed up to die for her country.

Monday, as she marched in the Veterans Day Parade, her mother died walking down the street.


"She was a happy woman, she like dancing, she enjoyed life to the fullest," Rivera said.

Olga Rivera was enjoying her 65th birthday Monday with her boyfriend Ramon Ramirez, who turns 69 Tuesday.

"Very good woman," Ramirez said.

Monday night he was clutching her photo, mere hours after she died in his arms.

It happened around 1 Monday afternoon at the corner of 102nd and Park.

The couple was walking toward their apartment in the Carver Houses, when police say a yellow cab, heading east on 102nd, ran a red light under the elevated Metro North tracks.

A white box truck slammed into it, then jumped the curb, and pinned Rivera against a fence.

Her boyfriend had to be pulled off her body, so paramedics could try to save her life. But there was nothing they could do.

"He said, 'My love, please don't die.' I was in shock, I was sad. You look at that stuff and start thinking it could be your wife, your mom, father. It's sad," said Gene Perez, an eyewitness.

"We're supposed to celebrate tomorrow, the family singing 'Happy Birthday' to them both, and having dinner together, but unfortunately that isn't going to happen," Rivera said.

The cab driver and two passengers, a mother and 7-year-old daughter, were taken to the hospital in stable condition.

The truck driver was not injured.