Lower East Side resident, and journalist, Jennifer Strom sent us this report after learning a pedestrian was hit on Delancey Street (at Essex St.) early this morning:
A pedestrian was struck and killed by a car crossing Delancey Street at the Essex Street intersection overnight, creating a gruesome scene that greeted commuters, school children and cyclists as the work week began.
Though a crossing guard and witnesses said the accident occurred around 4 a.m., the body remained in the middle of the street in the westbound lanes of Delancey until 8 a.m., when the NYC Medical Examiner’s transport van finally arrived.
Cesar Colado, the manager of the Roma Pizza restaurant on the northeast corner of the intersection, said the victim, a Latino man in his 30s, was a regular in the all-night pizza shop. Colado was making pizzas when a patron came in to report the accident and police cars began arriving. “After about a half-hour, I went to see what was happening and saw his face and I knew him,” said Colado, who recognized the victim by a prominent scar on his face. Colado did not know the man’s name. “He’s a young guy, you know? A young guy to lie there like that,” Colado said.
A white Mazda Protégé parked in the left westbound lane of Delancey a short distance from the accident bore the marks of the accident: dented hood and fender, distorted windshield, blown airbag and streaks of blood down the passenger side. The driver did not appear to be at the scene between 7 and 8 a.m.
While a tow truck arrived to remove the car and coroner’s officials worked to remove the body, Monday morning car traffic coming into Manhattan over the Williamsburg bridge was cut to one lane, causing a backup into Brooklyn, while cyclists coming over the bridge slowed to do double-takes as they whizzed by the scene.
Meanwhile, many regulars who hang out at Colado’s shop and the McDonald’s on the north side of Essex gathered on the street corner, trading rumors and clucking their tongues at the police officers joshing around as they stood guard over the body. See photos here.