NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A 91-year-old woman was struck and killed Friday by a city sanitation truck on Staten Island.
Marie Valentino was in the crosswalk at the corner of Clove Road and Delafield Avenue in West Brighton around 7:30 a.m. when she was hit, 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reported.
Valentino was out on her normal morning routine when she was killed, CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown reported.
Valentino had left her home, walked half a block, crossed Clove Road and then bought her coffee, the newspaper, two coffee cakes and eggs at the deli, D’Auria reported. When she crossed the street again to go back home, police said she was struck and killed by a city garbage truck.
Relatives told Brown that more than anything, Valentino was a survivor.
“Unbelievable; survived cancer, survived so much,” said grandson Charles Zerega.
Zerega said his grandmother was small, but a mighty force to be reckoned with.
“She loved to shop. She loved to still go get her hair done. She loved going to Atlantic City with my parents,” he said.
Valentino’s neighbor Courtney Foy said the woman was a fixture on the block.
“My kids wanted to buy her a coffee pot when it was really cold out, and I said this is her routine though, this is what she does — coffee and paper — we see her when I bring my kids to school,” Foy said.
Neighbor Jim Wright said despite her advanced age, Valentino’s mind was very sharp.
“Very pleasant woman, very independent. She’d get up every morning, go down to the corner, get her paper, get her milk and come back,” Wright said. “She lived with her daughter and her son-in-law. Very nice lady.”
Witnesses said it didn’t seem like the driver ever saw the woman and after the accident he could be seen screaming and appeared to be in shock, Brown reported.
A woman, who did not want to be identified, said she was walking behind Valentino when she was hit.
“From the back we heard the screams and I seen the body,” she said. “I heard the sanitation guys screaming to each other ‘What did you do! What did you do!'”
“I know these things happen, and just hopefully, hopefully they’ll learn from this,” Zerega said.
Wright and other local residents said the corner has seen many accidents in the past because when vehicles make the turn, they can’t see people in the street until they’re right in front of them, D’Auria reported.
“That is a very bad intersection,” Doreen Minogue told the Staten Island Advance. “If you make a left turn from Delafield Avenue onto Clove Road, you can’t see anybody in the crosswalk.”
Police said the driver remained on the scene and there was no criminality suspected, D’Auria reported.
The Department of Sanitation issued a statement offering condolences to the family of the victim.
“The accident is under full investigation by the New York City Police Department,” the statement said. “The department’s highest priority is the safety of our employees and the New Yorkers we serve.”
Valentino leaves behind three children, 13 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren, Brown reported.
It remains unclear who had the right of way at the intersection, Brown reported. The NYPD said an investigation is ongoing.
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