NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An out-of-control driver struck an off-duty police officer and then slammed into a pedestrian – pinning her against the wall – in East Harlem late Thursday.
The accident happened around 2:20 p.m. at East 102nd Street and Lexington Avenue. Investigators remained on the scene at 5 p.m., CBS2’s Dick Brennan reported.
Police said a gas station attendant was parking a car at the Shell gas station at the intersection, when the car went out of control and onto the sidewalk.
The car hit and pinned a woman who was in front of a laundromat. Firefighters worked desperately to free her.
Witnesses said it was a chaotic scene.
“Her body was over the car – draped over the car – and she just wasn’t moving. When we saw that they put a blanket over her, we all started crying, but they put the blanket so they could break the glass and they wouldn’t hit her,” one woman said. “When they finally took her, we saw her move her head. She moved her head, and that’s when we all started clapping upstairs and went back to work.”
A worker inside the laundromat said he wanted to help the woman who was struck, but the crash blocked the door.
“I saw the car — it almost hit the girl,” said laundromat worker Klemends Morina. “She was trying to escape but she cannot make it out, and it just hit the girl.”
The off-duty police officer, who was trying to get out of the way of the car, was left with an injured ankle.
The woman was in critical condition at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center late Thursday.
The driver was in police custody late Thursday, but had not been charged.