NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A 71-year-old man was waiting for a bus in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn Tuesday morning, but less than 12 hours later, he was in critical condition in the hospital after being hit by a truck.
As CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez reported, James McCloskey had just finished breakfast and walked to the bus stop when the unthinkable happened.
Late Tuesday night, crews were sweeping up shattered glass and debris at the bus shelter at Bay Ridge Parkway and 13th Avenue, where McCloskey was blindsided by the out-of-control pickup truck.
“I heard two loud bangs, screeching, and then one glass breaking,” said witness Anthony Munno, “so I guess that was the truck breaking through the glass over there.”
Witnesses said just before noon Tuesday, the truck collided with a minivan, and the impact sent the truck flying over the curb into the bus shelter.
Witnesses said many at the bus stop scrambled away, but McCloskey, who was sitting on a bench, couldn’t get out in time, 1010 WINS’ Gary Baumgarten reported.
A woman named Amelia told Baumgarten she was the first to notice the man had been hit.
“I screamed to call 911, because nobody see that a guy was there,” she said.
Witnesses described the accident.
“Just the sound was so loud, and we came out, and we saw the car smoking, and we ran down the block and we saw that the truck had crashed right into the bus stop, and that there was a man pinned with the bench that he was sitting on, and he was laying on the ground,” said witness Fabiana Polizzi.
“When I came here, I saw the poor man laying on the floor and motionless,” added Munno.
“Everybody got together; tried to help the man,” said witness Eric Aminov. “We couldn’t help, really, like you know — what else we could do?”
The drivers of both vehicles stayed at the scene, while emergency responders rushed McCloskey to Lutheran Medical Center. He was last reported in critical condition.
Two other people suffered non-life threatening injuries.
Surveillance video showed McCloskey minutes before the accident. He ate breakfast every day at the nearby Parkway Restaurant.
The manager of the restaurant said the man was quiet, but friendly. He would read the paper and often comment on the ups and downs of his favorite sports teams.
He walked out of the restaurant around 11:40 a.m. and crossed the street to the bus stop, CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reported. He had no idea of the horrible fate he would soon meet.
“It’s an unfortunate shame to be sitting at the bus stop, and you never know what’s going to happen,” said witness Kathleen Yeno. “You’re sitting there, and then your life is gone.”
Employees of businesses nearby said they could feel their building shake from the force of the crash.
Some residents said they pick up their children at the bus stop after school, and now, they are worried about their children’s safety.
Police said there was no criminality in the accident, but police said the driver of the minivan received a ticket for an expired driver’s license.
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