21-Year-Old Woman Struck and Left for Dead in Harlem Hit-and-Run

By Jess Wisloski and Jesse Lent  on April 6, 2013 3:15pm  | Updated on April 7, 2013 6:52pm

 The Harlem intersection, at West 133rd Street and Eighth Avenue, where a 21-year-old woman was killed by a hit-and-run driver on April 6, 2013.
The Harlem intersection, at West 133rd Street and Eighth Avenue, where a 21-year-old woman was killed by a hit-and-run driver on April 6, 2013.
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DNAinfo/Jesse Lent

WEST HARLEM — A 21-year-old woman was struck and killed by a driver that fled the scene early Saturday morning, police said.

Police found Taja Johnson, 21, of Mount Vernon, N.Y., unresponsive at the intersection of West 133rd Street and Eighth Avenue shortly after 4:30 a.m. after responding to several 911 calls reporting a pedestrian struck by a car.

The victim was rushed to Harlem Hospital, but declared dead on arrival, police said.

Police said Johnson had been crossing the intersection and was struck in the middle of the street by the motorist. The driver, Boubacar Bathily, 53, later turned himself in, police said.

Bathily was charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death, driving without a license and failure to exercise due care.  

Neighborhood resident Kelvin Romero, 25, was sleeping in his fourth-floor apartment when the crash woke him up.

"I heard everyone screaming down, 'Call 911, call 911,'" Romero said.

The 25-year-old Parks Department employee recalled watching emergency personnel turn the victim over and administer CPR, yet he said they were too late.

"It was shocking," Romero said.

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