New York City Bus Driver Suspended Without Pay After Plowing Into Woman, 70, Who Was Crossing The Street, Cutting Her In Half And Driving Off As If Nothing Happened

A 70-year-old New York woman, who was on her way to a methadone clinic appointment, was cut in half after she was struck by an out-of-service city bus last Tuesday, according to the New York Daily News. At approximately 6:15 a.m., Carol Bell was using her walker as she was lawfully crossing the street near an intersection on Ocean Hill when she was suddenly struck by a Bronx city bus, driven by 48-year-old Paul Roper.

The impact caused the woman’s body to be cut in half, killing her instantly. Surveillance footage captured the fatal crash, showing Roper stopping the empty B15 bus for a brief moment after hitting the pedestrian then driving off.

A bystander, Ramon Garcia, said, “She was cut in half. Definitely in half. I tried to help her but she was too bloody. There was a lot of blood. He [bus driver] just kept on going. He never realized what had happened. It’s a big machine. I guess you don’t feel something like that.”

The bus driver continued on his way to drop off the bus at the East New York depot, where another driver took over three hours later. New York police officials caught up with the bus using rooftop surveillance and towed it away for investigation. Roper was later taken to 73rd Precinct stationhouse, where he remained silent. Roper has since been suspended from his job without pay. And he has yet to give a statement regarding the hit and run, according to My Tech Bits.

Bell was a woman who struggled with drug addiction and homelessness. She shared a room with 58-year-old Deborah Robinson at a homeless shelter near the incident.

Robinson said, “She was always helping other people.”

After learning of her roommate’s fatal accident, Robinson quickly made her way to the scene where she saw her on the ground.

She said, “Her legs were gone. There was only the top half of her body. We’ll all miss her. We’re all grieving over her.”

In a statement, the Transit Workers Union Local 100 President John Samuelsen said, “This is a terrible tragedy, and our hearts and prayers go out to all family and friends. We will closely follow the investigation, which is in a very early stage.”

“The bus didn’t even know where she was in the street, he thought she was trash like a few garbage or something,” said the victim’s friend, Jajaida Meyers.

Witnesses told Bell’s daughter Alisa that the driver probably thought her mother was a “sack of garbage” in the street.

She said, “I don’t have a mother! How does he feel? She was a woman on a walker. How could he mistake her for garbage? It’s a homicide. I want him to go away for life.”

The executive director of the street safety group Transportation Alternatives, Paul Steely White, said that the city bus driver had a “wanton disregard for human rights.”

He also stated, “For a driver to not give a pedestrian their lawful right of way, then to leave the scene and leave them for dead? That is unimaginable in terms of its brutality. It may seem obvious that drivers who fail to yield and kill pedestrians should face real charges but it wasn’t until Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero policy that it became a reality.”

“Often, they would take drivers’ word for it when drivers said, ‘Oh I didn’t see them’ or ‘Oh, I didn’t notice when I hit them.'”

After the fatal incident, Paul Roper was arrested and charged with “felony leaving the scene of a collision involving death, failure to yield to a pedestrian, and failure to exercise due care.” Roper could face up to seven years in prison if he is found guilty.

[Image via NY Daily News YouTube screen capture]

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