NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A mother’s split-second decision might have saved her daughter’s life when a livery cab slammed into the girl – as well as three other children and another parent – in the Bronx Wednesday morning.
As CBS2’s Tracee Carrasco reported, a driver lost control of the vehicle while traveling along Valentine Avenue, jumped the curb and plowed into a group of kids and parents waiting for the school bus on the corner of East Kingsbridge Road. The woman and the children were standing on the sidewalk at the time.
“He come in fast,” witness Abdo Hrhen said. “He hit the corner fast and hit the kids and their mother.”
Hours later, Ayssa Haydara, 7, showed CBS2 the cuts she suffered to her knee, thigh and lip – all minor in comparison to what could have been.
Her mother, Penda Otawara, was grateful they were alive.
“I never see an accident like that,” Otawara said. “I’m just scared.”
When the Toyota Camry livery cab plowed into Ayssa and the three other children — ages 5, 8 and 11 — and one of their mothers, Otawara said she tried to pull her daughter out of the way.
“I see the car come,” Otawara said. “I say no, no, no, no — that guy is no good.”
Cellphone video showed people heroically trying to lift the black Toyota off the other mother, age 33, and her son, who were pinned underneath.
Victor Morales told 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa he heard what he initially thought was an explosion and raced over on his bike to help.
“But I wasn’t able to even get close to the car,” he said. “There were some guys already lifting it. It was really frightening, really horrific.”
Witness Jennifer Bautista described the scene as the good Samaritans went to work.
“They took about eight, 10 people to lift the car up while the other ones was checking the people that was hurt,” Bautista said.
Rescue squads arrived soon afterward.
“I saw the ambulance and the kids under the car,” Ayssa said.
Witnesses were also haunted by the disturbing scene.
“We knew something was terribly wrong then, when we saw the bodies everywhere,” said witness George Perez.
The 57-year-old driver remained at the scene and was not injured, police said.
Police late Wednesday were still trying to figure out whether the crash was the driver’s fault, or if the car malfunctioned.
“It sounded like the gas pedal was stuck. That’s what it sounded to me,” Perez said, “because when we ran towards the car and we got to the car, the car was still accelerating.”
All of the injured were taken to hospitals after the crash — one child to St. Barnabus Hospital, the rest to Jacobi Medical Center.
People who live in the area said cars often speed around the bend by Poe Park, making it dangerous for kids waiting for school buses.
“And those little kids don’t even have a crossing guard in there,” neighbor Nilda Guerrera said.