By Patrick Hedlund and Nicole Bode
LOWER EAST SIDE — A man was in serious condition after being hit by a van on Houston Street near Clinton Street Tuesday night, fire officials said.
The 50-year-old man, who was not identified, was taken to Bellevue Medical Center in serious condition after being struck just after 7 p.m., the fire department said.
The blue Dodge van and its driver remained on the scene an hour later with a smashed windshield and dented front left fender.
The driver of the vehicle said he was heading east on Houston Street, crossing through the intersection of Clinton Street on a green light, when a man passed through the intersection against traffic and into the center lane.
Police sources said the car to his left braked, blocking his view of the pedestrian until it was too late.
"I never saw him," said the shaken driver, from Yonkers.
Police at the scene said the pedestrian was crossing southbound outside the crosswalk when he was struck. He was alive and undergoing a CAT Scan at the hospital about an hour after the incident, a police source added.
The driver was not expected to be charged, police said. He blew a 0.00 on a Breathalyzer test administered at the scene, a police source said.
Police closed off traffic on the south side of Houston Street between Clinton and Suffolk streets after the crash.
Witness Rafael Jimenez, 72, said he was sitting in front of a laundromat on Houston Street near his apartment when he heard the crash.
"I saw him rolling after the car hit him," Jimenez said. "He was bleeding from his head. I got very nervous. This is a very dangerous street. I've seen so many accidents and so many people get killed."