A 73-year-old woman was struck and killed by a school bus driver in Ozone Park on Friday morning, Nov. 10, according to the NYPD.
Police say Maria Rodriguez was attempting to cross 86th Street at 107th Avenue just before 7:30 a.m. when a school bus making a left-hand turn from 86th Street onto 107th Avenue crashed into her while she was in a marked crosswalk, according to the NYPD. Police from the 106th Precinct responded to the scene and found the victim lying on the roadway unconscious and unresponsive. EMS arrived and pronounced her dead at the scene, police said.
Rodriguez was struck by the 2013 Starcraft EC3 school bus just steps from her home on 107th Avenue. Her 19-year-old grandson was distraught following the collision.
“My grandmother and I did a lot together,” Miguel Deluz Cruz told QNS. “She was dropping off my three sisters to school together. I’m not sure what to think right now.”
A local resident called the fatal collision “terrible.”
“There are too many accidents,” a resident of 86th Street said. “Just a few weeks ago it was the crossing guard.”
The witness was referring to the Oct. 20 fatal collision that killed 63-year-old school crossing guard Krystyna Naprawa a half-dozen blocks north after she helped children cross the intersection of Woodhaven Boulevard at Atlantic Avenue.
There was a small number of children on board the bus but none were injured, police said. The 47-year-old bus driver, Maria Marte of East Elmhurst remained at the scene and was taken into custody and booked at the 106th Precinct where she was charged with failure to yield to a pedestrian and failure to exercise due care, according to the NYPD.
“This is tragic,” another witness told QNS. “How many people have to lose their lives at the hands of bus drivers?”
The NYPD’s Highway District Collision Investigation Squad continues to investigate.
Additional reporting by Lloyd Mitchell.