A New York City bus driver was arrested Tuesday for allegedly leaving the scene of an accident after fatally hitting a 70-year-old woman as she tried to cross the street.
The disturbing incident was captured on surveillance footage obtained by NBC New York. In the video, the woman, identified as Carol Bell, is seen using a walker to help her cross the street when the bus, which was not in service, pulls forward into the intersection. The bus strikes Bell just as she reaches the double yellow line in the center of the road, sending her and her walker flying.
The vehicle then pauses before pulling around Bell’s body and driving off.
The MTA has since identified the bus driver as 48-year-old Paul Roper. He was taken into custody Tuesday and charged with leaving the scene of an accident, failure to yield to a pedestrian and failure to exercise due care.
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Roper’s family told NBC New York that he didn’t see the woman. But Bell’s friends are furious. “The bus didn’t even know where she was in the street, he thought she was trash like some garbage or something,” Jajaida Meyers told CBS New York.
Added another friend, John Foster: “She was a very loving, kind person. I was in shock when I heard this, and I’m at a loss for words too because I just passed yesterday speaking with her and I saw her outside, laughing and having fun, going about her normal day. It s a shock.”
A spokeswoman for the MTA told Newsday the authority is investigating the accident. In the meantime, Roper is suspended without pay.
He has not entered a plea to the charges against him.