What to Know
- A black SUV was making a turn onto 8th Avenue from West 38th Street when it struck a 67-year-old Brooklyn woman, police say
- Bystanders jumped into action, swarming to car to lift it and pulling the woman out from underneath
- The woman died at a hospital. The 39-year-old driver stayed at the scene, but was later arrested on charges he failed to yield.
A Brooklyn woman died after being struck by a black SUV at a midtown intersection Monday, despite the efforts of good Samaritans to save her. The driver of the SUV was later arrested.
An SUV with a Taxi & Limousine Commissioner license plate hit 67-year-old Yuenei Wu as it was turning onto Eighth Avenue from West 38th Street at about 4:15 p.m., according to police.
The driver, 39-year-old Edip Ozlemis, remained at the scene and was taken to an area hospital. He was arrested Monday night and charged with failing to yield to a pedestrian.
After the crash, bystanders rushed to help Wu, trying to free her from underneath the car.
"I heard a loud crash and I immediately ran outside," said Juan Thompson.
"First thing I did was grab the back bumper and just yelled for people to come over and lift it up," said Greg Grange, an auxiliary police officer. "It's like a blur. I can't even describe it."
"We just all started lifting the truck up, as soon as we lifted it up, a couple gentlemen pulled her from under," said Adam Smith.
"Once she was out, we just let it down," said Thompson. "It's like we didn't pick anything up."
Smith said he pulled the victim out from underneath the car.
"I just told her, 'It's gonna be OK, your family loves you, stick around,'" he said.
The woman, identified as Yuenei Wu of Brooklyn, was taken to Bellevue Hospital in critical condition and died there, police said.
Bystander Mario Santoro realized he knew Wu as he rushed to help her after the accident. He said they worked together in a building at the corner of 38th and 8th, and that she worked with fabrics. She often collected cans on the streets after work.
"I had to go upstairs to the 16th floor and let her daughter know," he said.
Santoro saw Wu every day.
"She's just a little old lady," said Santoro. "Everyone always sees her, she's always saying hi to everybody. It's scary."