Car, Van Collide in Harlem, Killing Passenger

By Ida Siegal
|  Thursday, Feb 7, 2013  |  Updated 12:15 AM EDT
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One person was killed and several others were hurt in a two-vehicle crash in Harlem Wednesday afternoon, authorities say.  Ida Siegal reports.

Ida Siegal

One person was killed and several others were hurt in a two-vehicle crash in Harlem Wednesday afternoon, authorities say. Ida Siegal reports.

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A woman was killed and several others were hurt in a Harlem crash that sent two cars flying onto the sidewalk at a busy intersection Wednesday afternoon.

A red 2003 Ford Focus going south on Broadway was making a left turn on West 135th Street when it was struck by a white 2009 Ford E250 van going north on Broadway, police said. Both vehicles skidded onto the sidewalk, hitting a pedestrian and injuring the vehicles' passengers.

The front seat passenger of the Ford Focus, identified as 46-year-old Lisette Ventura of Washington Heights, later died at St. Luke's Hospital.

The driver of the Ford Focus and two infant passengers in the back -- Ventura's toddler twin nephews -- were taken to Harlem Hospital, along with a pedestrian who was struck, police said. They are expected to be OK. 

Fernando Gonzalez, the grieving husband of the killed woman, was seen sobbing outside the hospital Wednesday night, hugging his teenage son. Gonzalez told reporters in Spanish, "She was my family, my heart." 

Ana Polanco, who saw the accident from the window of the medical office where she works, said people flew into action after the accident, some trying to lift the car up and rescue pedestrians underneath.

"They were trying to move it off the sidewalk, like with their own human strength," she said.

Police are continuing to investigate. 

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