Nursing Student Killed by MTA Bus in Williamsburg, Police Say

By Jess Wisloski and Tanay Warerkar  on March 2, 2014 8:38pm

WILLIAMSBURG — A 21-year-old nursing student was fatally struck by an MTA bus early Saturday as she crossed the street with friends, police said. 

Marisol Martinez, of Thames Street, was walking south on Union Avenue when a bus that was making a left turn onto Meeker Avenue struck her, police said. 

Martinez was studying nursing at Hunter College and had been working in sales at the Macy's shoe department, her family said.

"She was my inspiration in life," said Gissell Martinez, 15, Marisol's younger sister.

Her mother, Rufina Martinez, who was inconsolable at the family's home on Saturday, told DNAinfo New York that she called her daughter Friday night and asked her to come early because the L train wasn't running. Her daughter told her she'd be going out with friends after work and that she would take a different route home, Martinez said.

"She had dreams of graduating from college," said Rufina Martinez. "She was always laughing and joking around with everyone in the family. When I last spoke to her she told me not to worry. She said she was with friends and that she would be fine."

Rufina Martinez was instead alerted to the nightmare at 1:30 a.m., just after the accident, by one of Martinez's friends.

"It's just too hard to take this news," she said. "It's unbelievable. I can't be angry about it right now. Nobody can give me my daughter back."

Jose Gonzales, Marisol's cousin, said the young woman came to his Williamsburg apartment and the two went out with a friend to a few bars after she got out of work.

At Union Street, Gonzales said they had a green light to cross, and they looked both ways. Gonzales went first, followed by the friend and Martinez. Gonzales said there was barely any traffic on the street, and the bus "came out of nowhere."

She was clipped in the left leg by the front of the bus, he said. The friend screamed for the driver to stop, he said, but it appeared the driver couldn't hear the shouting, and the wheels pulled Martinez underneath the bus.

Gonzales said the driver eventually stopped after passengers on board alerted her to what was happening. Gonzales said another MTA bus arrived soon after and cleared the passengers out of the bus, even before rescuers had arrived. The NYPD could not say Saturday whether the passengers removed had been questioned off-site, as it was an ongoing investigation.

The 50-year-old driver remained at the scene of the accident, police said.

MTA officials could not be reached for comment on Saturday.

"I'm not in shock, I'm just angry," said Gonzales. "I'm mad at myself. I'm mad at the MTA. I'm mad at the bus driver for not listening to our screams. [Our friend] tried to pull her out, but the bus driver refused to back up. I'm mad at the bus driver for not backing up."

At Martinez's Thames Street apartment, her mother, father, sister and 17-year-old brother Braulio Martinez mourned the loss of a shining star.

"My sister was my role model," Gissell Martinez said.

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