NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Dramatic surveillance video captured the moment an out-of-control car struck a school girl in Brooklyn.
On Thursday, she was home without serious injury, and her dad was talking about the frightening accident.
“I’ve seen the video, and I’ve seen my daughter two minutes afterwards. I just thank God that this is the outcome,” Israel Hirshenbaum told CBS2’s Tony Aiello.
No one who witnessed what happened to 13-year-old Gitie Hirshenbaum will ever forget it.
“She was shooken up, she was totally shooken up,” Aaron Minz said.
Minz couldn’t believe the young woman survived with relatively minor injuries.
She’d been waiting for a school bus at the corner of 18th Avenue and 55th Street.
The first video caught the car service sedan on the other side of the avenue. A passenger must have realized something was wrong with the driver. She started to open the door, but the car took off.
The young girl had just a brief moment to see what was barreling towards her — that’s when she started to run.
The impact threw her on the hood. Then, she rolled off onto a grassy area between the car and the house on the corner.
“My daughter’s traumatized. Please let her be, let her be herself,” Hirshenbaum said.
Given recent events around the world — some in the neighborhood quickly feared this might have been an attempted terror attack.
The NYPD said the driver — Mustapha Ouchaoui suffered a seizure or a heart attack.
Borough Park residents were relieved on numerous fronts.
“Street scene is very busy, lot of children waiting for their school, going to their school, every corner is busy,” one woman said.
“God watches us every day, but today he had an extra eye on us this morning,” Rabbi Jack Meyer said.
A few minutes later– residents said — and there would have been seven young girls there waiting for the bus.
On Thursday, the driver of the sedan was hospitalized in critical condition, CBS2’s Valerie Castro reported.
Hirshenbaum believes the load of books in his daughter’s backpack helped cushion the impact.