Woman Killed by Truck Driver in West Village This Morning [Second Update]

Photo: WNBC

A pedestrian was struck and killed by the driver of a tractor trailer in the West Village this morning.

The victim, a 58-year-old woman, was riding a foot scooter at Sixth Avenue and Houston Street when she was struck at approximately 8:55 a.m., according to NYPD, FDNY and published reports. NBC cited a crossing guard who said the truck driver was making a right from Houston onto Sixth.

The Daily News said the victim was dragged to the intersection of Sixth and Carmine Street, a distance of two blocks.

She died at the scene and her body remained under the wheels of the truck Monday morning as cops probed her gruesome death.

The victim’s identity was not available at this writing. The NYPD Accident Investigation Squad was dispatched to the scene, a police spokesperson said.

We’ll post additional information as we get it.

Update: NYPD told Gothamist that the victim was “crossing east to west on Houston Street” on the scooter. A Times report confirms that, according to police, the driver was turning right from Houston to Sixth when the victim was struck by a rear wheel. Gothamist and the Post are reporting that the driver did not stop until alerted by witnesses. Per the Times: “The truck driver stayed on the scene and was not charged, the police said.”

Update: The victim has been identified in the News and Wall Street Journal as Jessica Dworkin of Manhattan.

  • Anonymous

    Ugh, sounds like a right hook.

    crossing guard who said the truck driver was making a right from Houston onto Sixth.

    Isn’t the crossing guard there to protect vulnerable street users?

    This morning when I was crossing Broadway (on foot) on my work this morning, there was truck that was blocking both cross walks, when they had the red: http://goo.gl/maps/AIHRA

    I asked the traffic cop there, isn’t that a ticket?  And all I received was a shrug.   And the truck, proceeded through the red, after most of the peds had finished crossing.  Like, just last week, someone was killed less than 100 ft away, from a truck moving too quickly in dense pedestrian traffic.  Like, do these people give a shit? How many people have to die before the NYDN, NYPOST, local elected pols, get their shit together.  Why the f— is Bill deBlasio going on about bike lanes, when things like that save lives!  

    Somebody is dead.  Why doesn’t anybody important and in authority give a shit and do something about this?!!?

  • Matt

    >>Why doesn’t anybody important and in authority give a shit and do something about this?!!?

    there’s little political gain

  • bicyclebelle

    From the photo it looks like that truck would require an overdimensional vehicle permit to be on city streets, yes? It’s just common sense that those permits should be difficult to get, requiring proof that such a vehicle is absolutely needed for a job. And permits should never be valid during rush hour. Perhaps we can get some coverage and explanation on this issue?

  • Joe R.

    If NYC had a rational toll structure, then most of the truck traffic would be routed around the city instead of through it. The vast majority of the truck traffic in lower Manhattan is thru traffic which only goes that way to save on tolls.

  • Reader

    It’s absolutely amazing that a truck that size probably took the Manhattan Bridge and entered an intensely crowded and congested city…for free!

  • Anonymous

    I’m really not sure how much longer I can deal with the carnage here. Meaning: I’m not sure how I can deal with so much carnage and such savage indifference to it on the part of people who could easily take steps to end it.

  • Guest

    I’m sure the truck was going way, way too fast on that turn, too, or else she would have been able to get out of the way.  I’ve been in that situation before, where the truck takes the turn too fast and you have to pull your kids out of the way and jump back as the rear wheels fly towards you.  

  • Guest

    Show of hands, who here thinks the driver is likely to be a criminal? 

  • Anonymous

    Who wants to bet this truck is in violation of the 55 foot maximum length set by RCNY Section  4-12(b)(3)?  http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/trafrule.pdf

    Peter Vallone said at the 2/15/12 oversight hearing that truckers who drive over-height trucks exceeding the maximum clearances on a highway with low underpasses were per se engaged in reckless endangerment (a CRIME). Doesn’t that same analysis hold true for truckers driving over-length trucks on the streets of Manhattan?

  • Shoregal215

    My father  was driving my mother to work and was behind the truck. He witnessed the whole thing. He was blowing the horn and screaming then sped up and turned his car sideways in front of the truck at west 3rd street and the truck driver slammed on the brakes and stopped. My father jumped out of his car and pulled the driver out screaming but he was totally unaware he had dragged a woman for blocks.

  • CheapSkate

    Houston and Sixth Ave is an incredibly dangerous intersection and this isn’t the first pedestrian death in this location. Even with the newly installed countdown timers there’s so much traffic, turning onto Sixth Ave, from Sixth Ave onto Houston, or onto Bedford St, pedestrians have very little time to cross… and when oversized trucks like this turn, you never know where the rear wheels may wind up.

  • CheapSkate

    People should also keep in mind this intersection was suggested as an alternative to the Father Fagan Park BikeShare station

  • Anonymous

    Excellent point! Since interstate commerce and trucking falls under federal regulation, perhaps the NTSB can investigate the circumstances behind this horrible incident.

  • Anonymous

    @467b701351eb19b587841a8a122b2daf:disqus 

    Wow. I’m so sorry that your family witnessed this awful tragedy.  Did your father give his contact details to the police so that he could provide witness details? 

    Did your father get the sense that it could’ve been prevented if the driver was paying better attention?  I know that this was an accident in the sense that the driver didn’t do it on purpose.  But so long as nobody ever goes to jail for these type of (possibly) preventable accidents, then we’ll continue to see such violence on our streets.  So sad. 

  • Jay NYC

    There should be a giant speed bump on Houston and a pedestrian only crosswalk.  Once traffic starts moving, this intersection is too dangerous for pedestrians.  I live one block away and will not use it anymore, meaning i cross on the non-turning (south) side of the street.  Takes a little longer, but i’m still here.

  • Ben Kintisch

    Another day, another tragedy. Who thinks De Blasio will speak up for the victim? What about the Daily News? The Post? Oh, wait. No “dangerous” bikes involved.

  • Ian Turner

    @de15642ae2b63905e56bc419987e86d8:disqus, note that the permit to bring a truck such as this into the city can easily run to $100,000, so it’s not accurate to say that one can drive this route “for free”.

  • Station44025

    I went to a DOT event where people. Luke sit in the. An of a truck to experience exactly how little visibility the drivers have. My thought was that if people had any idea they would be calling for an immediate ban. Why we have such gigantic trucks plying our urban streets I don’t know. Every other country on earth manages to function without 18 wheelers in the urban core.

  • Station44025

    Thanks iPhone + disqus, for totally garbling my message. People could sit in the cabs of trucks and experience how poor the visibility is. Add to that the fact that truckers can’t hear anything outside, and it seems insane to allow them on the streets.

  • Anonymous

    @2d1f4485f4071d40973ef0f25d75ed14:disqus 
    Why we have such gigantic trucks plying our urban streets I don’t know. Every other country on earth manages to function without 18 wheelers in the urban core.

    Yah, seriously.  Take about negligence/death by design.  Let’s put massive trucks + densely populated city = 

  • Andrew

    This intersection is at the boundary of the 1st and 6th Precincts.

    The 1st and 6th Precincts, combined, issued 15 “Not Giving R of W to Pedes” moving violations in the month of July.

    The 1st and 6th Precincts, combined, cover all of Manhattan west of Broadway and south of 14th Street, as well as the entire width of Manhattan south of the Brooklyn Bridge.

    How about these two precincts pledge to issue 15 “Not Giving R of W to Pedes” moving violations per hour rather than per month? It would be trivially easy, and it might help clarify to drivers how they should be making turns.

    Ray Kelly, where are you?

  • Andrew
  • David

    My friend ended up under a truck at that spot but luckily lived to see another day.  Very dangerous crossing spot.

  • Al Heitzere

    I just lost a very dear friend, Jessica Dworkin, to a forseeable accident occuring in early morning daylit hours.  An 18-wheeler knocking Jessica down and dragging her under its wheel(s) for 2 blocks … aaargh!  She was 59 years young, and added to the lustre of Greenwich Village life, and immeasureably added to the lives of my wife and I.

  • krstrois

    I’m very sorry for the senseless loss of your friend, Mr. Heitzere. 

  • Al Heitzer

    The details emerging more than 24 hours after this negligent accident are as follows: a motorist following the flatbed truck witnessed Jessica Dworkin being hit by the rear end of this very long flatbed truck, sped up in front of the truck which by now had moved 2 blocks up north w/Jessie’s body wrapped up around the wheel, and alerted the truck driver to what he had done.  Jessie’s screams were heard by several passerby so she did not die quickly.  I’m sick at the thought of this horrendous & horrifying negligent accident, and I thank the majority of good people commenting herein for their kind words, intelligent and thoughtful suggestions to improve safety at this ridiculously dangerous cross-section at Houston Street & Sixth Avenue.  Jessie was one-of-a-kind, and she cannot ever be replaced.  I hope Jessie’s sister who is flying in from California to attend to whatever arrangements are to be made realizes how loved Jessie was in this unique community that is a cross-section of humanity.

  • Anonymous

    @5e46007b4b9192448db6512c9a1f3ffb:disqus That’s just horrific. I hope your friend’s family is able find some consolation in the affection she so clearly inspired.

  • Al Heitzer

    Jessica will be cremated, and her ashes sent to California where one of her 3 siblings lives.  I went to the death site yesterday where I spoke to several longtime residents who were near Jessica’s memorial.  They told me that a homeless black man had witnessed the negligent accident, and that he tried yelling to the tractor trailer driver, Greg Smith, about what he had done but the driver heard nothing.  The homeless man also said that the tractor trailer had been in the car lane nearest the curb, as opposed to the middle lane for trucks and buses, hence, Greg Smith should’ve been charged with vehicular homicide!

  • Andrew

    I’m confused – trucks aren’t allowed in the right lane? How are they supposed to make right turns?

  • Driver

     It’s not that trucks aren’t allowed in the right lane.  The right lane nearest the curb on W/B Houston at 6th Ave is not a traffic lane, it is  a no standing lane, and from the looks of it may have been a bus stop at one time (concrete slabs).  The second lane from the curb is painted with a right turn arrow, the third lane from the curb is for straight traffic onto Bedford or W. Houston.  It is improper for any vehicle to make a right turn from the lane closest to the curb, but since the lane is unobstructed, it is regularly used as a turning lane, particularly by cars. 
    It is possible but not likely that the truck made the turn from the no standing lane.  The only logical reason a truck of that size would make a right turn from the lane closest to the curb would be if the truck was parked or standing in that lane prior to turning, and it would be a difficult turn from there.  A tractor trailer will generally not make a right turn from the lane closest to the curb and anyone who has watched one turn knows they usually swing out wide before turning. 

  • Al Heitzer

    There will be an impromptu memorial tonite at 8 p.m. at the Houston Street/Sixth Avenue intersection where Jessica ‘Blue’ Dworkin was killed Monday morning.  I’d love to see some, if not all, of the people who blogged herein or who loved this supremely human being that Jessie was.

  • Kristen

    dear Al, i just found this and i’m sorry to have missed the memorial.  I hadn’t seen Jessica in a long long time, and then Sunday, August 26 she stopped by my vendor table and we spoke awhile.  She looked so really good and was so blissful. When i was working on West Broadway and saw her often, she always gave me fruit and things.  Every time i saw her she gave me something. She is one of those rare souls who is genuinely kind and generous.  On sunday, after we spoke, she scootered off, but dropped a plastic bag with some clothes.  We called after her, she didn’t hear, so i grabbed it and ran after her.  When i gave it to her she said: Have i ever told you, you’re a love.  It made me smile.  She always made me smile, made me happier.  I’m so glad the universe arranged for me to see her one last time before her soul traveled to a different place.

  • Tom

    Human body vs. an 18-wheeler is like marshmallow vs. a blender. Seldom do they make it out of it in one piece, and most who end up under the crushing wheels end up so disfigured that you can’t even tell if it’s a human being in that mess. Yep, NYC is pacing up to the statistics of fatal and brutal traffic accidents of Brazil, Thailand and Russia these days. Sad to see another innocent person getting killed by a big motor vehicle, but I don’t think that the carnage is going to end any time sooner.

  • Melissa Dworkin

    The Terrible senseless death of my sister Jessica Blue Dworkin on August 27th at
    Houston Street and Sixth Avenue is just the latest in the series of
    pedestrian injuries and deaths at that dangerous intersection.

    On Tuesday September 11th ,6:30 pm

    Our lady of Pompii Church

    25 Carmine Street at Bleecker Street

    Father Demo Hall

    Please
    go and have your voice heard.  The item is third on the agenda. So you
    don’t need to be there exactly on time, but you do need to be there to
    offer your ideas for improvements. A large turnout will send a message
    to the city that the intersection must be made safe for pedestrians.      

  • I won’t make any friends for posting this, but why is everyone so quick to blame the truck driver? Whether the victim was a wonderful person or not doesn’t change that she was hit by the REAR tire. Did that tire do something that the 17 in front of it didn’t do? 

    It sure couldn’t possibly be the fault of a person on a scooter entering a crosswalk too quickly because they underestimated the turn radius of large, loud vehicle, could it? How fast do you really think the truck was taking the corner at 9 in the morning? So fast that it came out of nowhere? 

    I’m deeply sorry this happened, and this is a horrible accident, but let’s remember that there are just as many pedestrians making poorly-thought choices on the streets of NYC as there are bad drivers. What happened here is very sad, as is the lengths people here are going to blame crossing guards, cops, “criminal” truck drivers, and city government for causing it. 

  • Anonymous

    @twitter-27070763:disqus
    You’re right, you won’t win friends, but that’s because you’re ignoring a lot in a search for a way to blame the victim.
    A) The driver was cited for failure to yield.
    B) There are many wheels on that truck that could be described as “rear.” Don’t presume it was the very last set of them.
    C) The truck didn’t have the proper mirrors (as you can see in the photo
    above)–you know, the kind of mirrors that allow a truck in a city to
    see what’s directly in front.
    D) It’s very easy to imagine the truck pulling right in front of her, when she wouldn’t expect it (given that she’s crossing with the light and standing up on a scooter), her trying to get out of the way, and then getting swiped by a rear wheel
    E) A truck driver this demonstratively careless, this transparently indifferent to others’ lives, could have done something wildly unpredictable at the last second, even with the very end of that flatbed.

  • Andrew

    By law, motor vehicle operators making turns are required to yield to pedestrians crossing legally in the crosswalk.

    What you term an “accident” was the result of a truck driver not bothering to wait for pedestrians before turning. It was no accident; it was pure negligence on the driver’s part.

    Perhaps if the NYPD could be bothered to enforce this law, more motorists would be aware of its existence.

  • Anonymous

    Rollie,
    the front of that truck was 3/4 of the way across 6th Ave before it started turning.  If it started turning any sooner, the rear of the trailer would have rolled over the sidewalk. The deadly problem is that a crossing pedestrian has no way to know that the truck is NOT going STRAIGHT through the intersection – it looks just the same up until the moment it starts turning.  Maybe, just maybe, the truck had turn signals on, but way to many drivers omit this legal requirement.  That could alerted a crossing pedestrian, if the signals are working and are visible.  But that’s all that would differentiate a turning truck from the straight through truck.

    Because of this,  the traffic law is that drivers have to slow, and stop if necessary to yield to all straight through traffic – pedestrian, scooter or bicycle – on their right.  It’s the driver’s responsibility to look back down the right side of the truck before completing the turn.
    And yes, it’s damned hard to see 55 feet back in those little mirrors, but that’s what they have to do.

    The other way the driver signals that he is turning is by slowing down, so he does not appear to be crossing straight through the intersection.  It also gives him time to check his mirrors, and it gives people a slight chance to jump out of the way if they walk up while he starts turning.

    This crash and the one on 14th St and Broadway, both appear that the drivers never stopped, and at 14th St, never even tried slowing down.

    Pure driver error.

  • Al Heitzer

    A memorial service was held for Jessica ‘Jessie Blue’ Dworkin at Pompeii Church’s senior center on September 18th between 10 a.m. & 2 p.m.  More than 200 friends, family & acquaintances of Jessica were in attendance there where tributes, rememberances, songs & poems were read in her honor.  That afternoon I heard a new version of Jessica’s death which won’t change the fact of her untimely death, but is needed to be aired herein: Jessica was on the curb of Houston Street & Sixth Avenue bent over looking through a pile of magazines left near the garbage can of that death corner when the 55′ flatbed tractor trailer was making the turn inside the lane nearest the curb when a taxi cut the trailer off causing the driver to actually go up on the curb catching Jessica’s dress as she screamed helplessly.  Again, I ask this: whether this fatally negligent accident occurred with Jessica crossing the street from East to West on Houston Street or whether, in fact, she was on the curb when this tractor trailer rode up on the curb after being cut off by a taxi, this fact does remain unanswered: why wasn’t Greg Smith charged with vehicular manslaughter in either scenario?  And where is Whitey from King Street who was known to be following this flatbed trailer in his car and who followed this flatbed truck to Minetta Lane to apprise Smith of what he had done?  And where and who is the heavyset homeless black man sitting on one of the benches at the death corner who futiley tried waving down Greg Smith as the latter drove two long blocks with Jessica wrapped around the wheel and encased in the undercarriage?

  • York car accident lawyer

    Thank you for your wonderful post. My dad was in a terrible accident when i was a teenager, and the lawyer he had fighting his case got my dad a large settlement that helped pay all of his hospital bills, get his Harley repaired, and enough money to take of our family while he recovered.

  • scoobydoo

    If the truck driver had been at fault something would have been done….perhaps city/state ordinances should not allow big trucks in and only the small ones,thats if you want nothing in your city because everything there is brought by one? It is called an accident for a reason and maybe just maybe the girl should have not been standing on tne curb bending over while something that huge was turning it???? And yes i am a truck driver and watch all day as people drive down the road texting,doing there hair,yelling at there kids and doing EVERYTHING but look at the road while 18 wheels in masses drive near them,then when an accident occurs it was negligance of the bad truck driver. How many times i can tell you i have seen cars drive under a truck when it swings a wide right turn even after every trailer has stickers plastered all over it “makes wide right turns” yet again people are too caught up in the own worlds to realise they are about to be decapitated by a trailer ugh. I express much sympathy too the family/friends of what it sounds like to have been a wonderful person but in the same token i try to educate people of the fact of the 100 blind spots we have and the danger we impose in smalll areas ( in which we are forced to drive) i myself would never drive in nyc or any east coast ever again for that matter. The people are too aggressive,they pay attention less and the roads are way too small which in combine in my opinion is always an accident waiting too happen. So hopefully someone reads this and before the next time they make a deadly mistake it saves them! We cannot SEE anything on at least 1/3rd of our trucks let alone where our back tires are? We cannot see anyone next too our doors on tne road! And when we are turning we have to watch all sides of our truck at the same time while people are giving us happy fingers,cutting us off ,laying on horns and trying to drive under our trailer. Where is the taxi that cut him off? Maybe he is the one that should be locked up 🙂

  • boohoo

    Just about as likely as you are too be a judgemental jackass?

  • ACCIDENT ON I-95

    its amazing that a truck that size probably took the Manhattan Bridge and
    entered an intensely crowded and congested city..

    ACCIDENT ON I-95

  • RoBeast Rollie

    In all fairness, you’re speculating just as much as I am. You assume it wasn’t the last set of wheels. You assume that the truck doesn’t have proper mirrors and that simply checking mirrors would have prevented the accident. You assume the driver is careless, indifferent, and unpredictable. Another poster assumes there was no turn signal.

    Sure, let’s say the driver was 3/4 of the way across 6th and started turning into an empty crosswalk. Let’s say he was then 3/4 finished his turn when the scooter rider decided that was enough to roll through the intersection. Well, that’s not enough, unfortunately.

    Drivers have to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. True. But when it’s clear and the driver can start going, do pedestrians on the sidewalk freeze in place? No, typically, they don’t stop approaching and crossing the intersection. Now put the pedestrian on a scooter and there’s a lot less time to remember that the flatbed has a much sharper turn than the front of the truck.

    Again, this is pure speculation, but my scenario holds just as much water as yours. There are plenty of ways this could have happened, and not all cast one person as the villain and the other as the innocent. Hopefully some more facts will be released to the public at some point now that the family has sued the driver.

  • Anonymous

    Uh, no. It’s not speculation that:
    1) the driver was cited for failure to yield
    2) that the truck didn’t have the right proper mirrors–you can see that in the blinking photo–where “proper” equals those mandated in New York for New York vehicles
    3) A truck driver that is cited for failure to yield and kills someone as a result of that failure is *demonstrably* careless, as I wrote above

    The only speculation in my post is clearly signaled (as with my point about tires).

    Here’s some speculation, though: at some point New York City is going to wake up and really do something about the dangers presented by these kinds of vehicles. Because, while they obviously provide needed services, they also kill. Often. And that has to stop.

  • Anonymous

    (me again, can’t seem to access my old account)

    Just because a driver was cited for failure to yield doesn’t mean the driver actually failed to yield, which is why I still maintain you’re speculating. The police weren’t there, and you and I weren’t there.

    It’s entirely possible that the horrible circumstances led the police to cite him with ANYTHING just to hit him with something. It’s also entirely possible that the permit and mirror violations and driver negligence were responsible for this preventable death.

    My point is that there are multiple logical scenarios for what happened, and not all of them put the driver at fault. It only looks like I’m victim blaming because of how quickly everyone here is to do the opposite.

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