NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The driver of an MTA bus that hit and killed a woman in Lower Manhattan has been charged with failing to yield to a pedestrian.

The 58-year-old victim was struck by the QM7 bus near the Staten Island Ferry Terminal at State and Water streets around 5:30 p.m. Friday, police said. She was dragged for several blocks to Trinity Place and Edgar Street.

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The bus traveled nearly half a mile before people started to realize what was happening and flagged the driver down.

Michelle and Andrew Bass passed by the gruesome scene.

“I think everyone thought it was fake,” Michelle said.

The bus stopped and the driver checked underneath the wheels.

“There was even someone with one of those big flashlights like looking down at the tires,” Michelle said.

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Initially the bus driver couldn’t believe the gravity of the situation, telling passengers it must be a Halloween joke, CBS2’s Magdalena Doris reported.

“And then he got back on the bus and started driving, and then the cop stopped him and we just kept walking,” Andrew said, “The cop banged on the bus and told him to stop, and he came off and said it’s a prank, it’s a prank.”

The woman was pronounced dead at the scene. Police have not released her name but said she was a 58-year-old woman who lived in the Columbus Circle area.

Witnesses won’t soon forget what they saw.

“It’s kind of hard to believe that it was real, and really tragic,” Michelle said.

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The 63-year-old driver was taken to Beth Israel Hospital for examination. Police said they do not believe alcohol or drugs were a factor in the accident.