MTA bus driver charged after woman hit, killed in Lower Manhattan

ByCeFaan Kim, Eyewitness News WABC logo
Sunday, October 23, 2016
Woman dragged, killed after being struck by bus
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CeFaan Kim reports from Lower Manhattan.

FINANCIAL DISTRICT, Manhattan (WABC) -- The driver was charged after a woman died when she was struck by an MTA bus in Lower Manhattan Friday evening.

Roger Weckworth, 63, was charged with failure to yield to a pedestrian causing injury and failure to yield to a pedestrian.

Around 5:30 p.m. Friday, a pedestrian was hit at struck at Trinity Place and Exchange Place in Lower Manhattan. According to the New York City Police Department, the woman suffered severe trauma to her head and body, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

She has not been identified.

The QM7 MTA bus driven by Weckworth was traveling north on Trinity at Exchange when other pedestrians alerted Weckworth that there was a woman under the rear of the bus.

He stopped and found the woman; he remained on scene and was taken to Beth Israel Hospital for evaluation.

Witnesses said they were frantically trying to get the bus driver's attention, before he eventually stopped. Police said they believe the victim may have been struck near the charging bull statue on Broadway, four blocks away.

"People jumped off the bus, even the driver jumped off the bus, and they looked. Guess they heard something dragging or whatever and looked under there, there was something under there. I guess they thought it was a prank or whatever, the bus pulled off again and then I guessed they realized that it wasn't, that it was a body under there," said Benjamin Layton, Coach Bus employee.

Cell phone video captured first responders desperately trying to rescue the victim.

"They were trying to lift the bus up to get the bus up off of her. The next thing you know all the other fire departments and the police came and everybody is running around trying to get, putting stuff up under the bus trying to lift the bus up," a witness said.

Police say about half a dozen passengers who remained on the scene, worked with investigators.

For Layton, it still all feels so surreal.

"I wasn't sure. I didn't realize it was a body until the second time I looked up under there," he said. "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," Layton said.