Three pedestrians were struck by a van near Penn Station on Friday in what appeared to be an accident involving the driver’s floor mat, police said.
The crash happened at the corner of Seventh Avenue and 31st Street in midtown around 5:20 p.m., according to the FDNY. The driver’s floor mat appeared to have gotten caught between the gas pedal and the break, police said, causing the van to go through a red light and strike the pedestrians.
The victims were taken to Bellevue Hospital Center with minor injuries, officials said.
Vasavi Pandey, 22, was walking toward Penn Station to catch a train home to New Jersey when she said she began to see people running.
“I had my headphones in so I didn’t hear the car hit anyone, but the screaming was loud and I took out my headphones after I saw people running away from the scene,” she said.
Pandey said several officers from Penn Station surrounded the victims on the street and began directing traffic away from Seventh Avenue.
Video from the scene that was posted to Twitter showed at least two victims lying on the street near the crosswalk with a number of emergency responders and passersby standing over them trying to help.
The crash happened during the height of rush hour in an area of Manhattan that is packed with commuters heading to Penn Station. Pandey said some people who remained at the scene were shocked because they had just barely missed being hit by the van.
“There were a lot of people crying,” she added.
The driver remained at the scene and was questioned by police. He was not expected to be charged with a crime, an NYPD spokeswoman said.
Seventh Avenue, which heads southbound, was shut down to traffic starting at 34th Street.