Police say they've located the driver of the charter bus who allegedly hit and killed a woman standing at busy Queens intersection Thursday evening, then fled.
The driver of the Skyliner bus, identified so far only as a 56-year-old man, has been brought back to New York City after the bus in question was stopped by police in Madison, Connecticut Friday, according to police and the bus company. The bus was en route to Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut.
The driver has not yet been charged.
The bus hit the 84-year-old woman, identified by police sources as Aglaia Gounaris, at Main Street and Kissena Boulevard in Flushing at about 8:30 p.m., then continued on, police said. Witness Edward Fauntleroy said he saw three or four cars then hitting the woman afterward.
A spokeswoman for Skyliner declined to comment on the crash and the driver; the company said earlier it is cooperating with officials.
Neighbors said Gounaris, who went by "Lola," lived alone about eight blocks from where the accident happened.
"She was a nice person, I liked her very much," said neighbor Landini Chadravartuy. "I'm very sorry to hear about that. She was our longtime neighbor."
The intersection at the jam-packed center of Flushing is an especially risky one to cross, according to the city's Department of Transportation. Among the 47 streets in Queens ranked as dangerous or crash-prone, Kissena Boulevard ranks the eighth worst and Main Street as the ninth worst. The rankings are based on the city's measurement of pedestrians killed or seriously injured per mile.
People who live and work in the area agree.
"I almost got hit six or seven times walking across the street," Fauntleroy said.
"This area right here has to be dealt with," said Sherrell Jordan of Flushing. "They're always turning very sharp, and if you're not careful you can be hit."
Councilman Peter Koo said he'd like to see speed bumps installed there.
The city is continuing to crack down on drivers who hit pedestrians, Mayor de Blasio said Friday. The mayor's office said the trend points to success: there have been 14 hit-and-run pedestrian fatalities from January through October of this year, down slightly from 22 all of last year and way down from the average 31.7 pedestrian fatalities before Vision Zero was launched with lower speed limits, more red-light cameras and a vow of tougher enforcement.
"For many years in this country, the car was too sacred," said de Blasio. "And we were losing people to traffic fatalities without changes in policy."