UNIONPORT, the Bronx — A woman was fatally struck by a school bus that drove away afterward Thursday and investigators are working to determine if it was a hit-and-run or a tragic accident.
Officials continue to search for the driver and the bus.
Meanwhile, people who live in this residential neighborhood say that the increase of school bus yards in their community over the last twenty years or so has resulted in unsafe conditions generally, which in turn led to Thursday's tragedy.
The crash, which happened at 9:46 a.m. at the intersection of Havemeyer and Story Avenues, was captured on the surveillance video system of a home near the intersection.
The video, which police are analyzing for information, shows that the 68-year-old woman, was walking down Havemayer Avenue, carrying bags in each hand. While she crossed the avenue, a school bus that was apparently waiting for another school bus to pass in front of it pulled out into the intersection, striking the woman.
The bus ended up dragging the woman at least twenty feet, then driving off. As late as Thursday evening, the bus and its driver had not been located.
The woman was found unconscious and was transported to NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi, according to FDNY officials. She was pronounced dead after she arrived at the hospital, according to the NYPD.
Her case was the most tragic of many, according to local residents.
"I've witnessed 20 accidents since I've lived here," said Gonzalo Velez, a 20-year resident who said that the hundreds of buses in this southeastern Bronx neighborhood are a hazard.
"A lot of these bus drivers are out of control, said Omar Cabrera. "I'm a driving instructor," he told PIX11 News, "and they've almost driven me and my students off the road a few times."
He also said something similar to what some law enforcement sources told PIX11 News: that it's possible that the bus driver did not see the woman as she walked in front of the bus.
This neighborhood is home to multiple school bus lots. At one of them, the garage and headquarters of GVC Limited, PIX11 News observed NYPD detectives and highway crash investigators on scene.
No matter which company the bus was affiliated with, according to residents, speeding and inattentive drivers from those companies are a problem in the community.
"This is bad," said lifelong resident Melanie Vigo. "This intersection has always been bad.
"They speed, they make turns, they come up this block with no regard to the traffic," Velez told PIX11 News. "They want to get to the garage the quickest way."
The woman has not been identified, pending notification of next of kin.