A bus passenger was run over during this morning rush after she missed her stop on the Flatbush Avenue bus in Brooklyn, kicked the rear door open and fell out, police said.
The woman, said to be in her 30s wearing multi-color pants and a red blouse, was killed in front of horrified passengers and pedestrians — including a school crossing guard who was standing at the corner of Flatlands Avenue and Flatbush Avenue directing children safely to school.
The incident occurred at about 9 a.m. on Jan. 16 when the woman was riding the southbound B41 bus on Flatbush Avenue. Witnesses said the victim became irate when she missed her stop at Kings Highway and began kicking the back door, demanding to be let off despite the next bus stop being only a block away.
Deputy Chief Charles Scholl of NYPD Patrol Borough Brooklyn South, on his second pedestrian death of the day, confirmed that the victim became “a little irate” and began kicking the back door.
“The passenger was on the city bus, she attempted to get off because she missed her stop, she became a little irate and the door fell open and she fell out and she went under the rear wheels,” Scholl said. “At this time, it appears to be no fault of the operator of the bus and its another tragedy of people not being careful putting themselves in harms way, tragic loss of life that should’ve been avoided.”
Police investigators now say that when the woman went out of the door of the bus, she struck a wooden utility pole, sending her backwards and under the wheels of the bus that crushed her body.
Kahliah Rose had just dropped her children off to school at the St. John’s University Midwood Catholic Academy on that corner adjoining the St. Thomas Aquinas Church. She said she is still in shock.
“I was standing right there and then I heard the ladies on the bus started wailing and wailing,” Rose said as she and other pedestrians tried to console the school crossing guard who witnessed the woman fall from the bus.
“I looked and saw the lady still trying to get up, she was telling them, to give her room and make sure nobody else runs her over – she was in the ‘get everything done’ mode,” Rose said. “I don’t know why it was so urgent to get off that bus. Why did she have to kick the door open? She was just kicking that back door and it opened, she fell out of bus and leg got caught in bus.”
Rose said she called 911 as the school crossing guard was trying to tell her not to move and was directing other buses around the injured woman.
“She was still trying to move even though we were trying to tell her to stay still and when the ambulance came, she stopped moving,” Rose sighed.
Police from the 63rd Precinct and highway units closed Flatbush Avenue in both directions as the investigation continued. The driver of the bus, not identified, was treated for trauma as was the crossing guard.
The investigation was continuing this morning, but police continue to say the driver was not at fault.
“The death of a woman who was struck by bus #4236 operating on the B41 route this morning is tragic,” said Craig Cipriano, SVP Department of Buses and Acting President of MTA Bus Company in a statement. “NYC Transit and NYPD investigations into what happened, how, and why are in the early stages, so any conclusions as to cause would be inappropriately speculative at this time.”