MANHATTAN — Doctors were unable to reattach a British tourist's leg after it was severed Tuesday when a runaway taxi plowed into her near Rockefeller Center, said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
Sian Green, 23, was eating a hot dog with her friend on their first day of vacation in New York when a cab plowed into her about 11 a.m. Monday near Sixth Avenue and 49th Street. A group of good Samaritans including celebrity surgeon Mehmet Oz, a plumber, a pizza truck owner, and a nurse rushed to help Green, putting tourniquets on both legs and packing the severed limb into ice.
But doctors at Bellevue Hospital couldn't save it and "it was amputated below the the knee," Kelly said Wednesday.
"In terms of her spirits, I'm not certain. I believe she's still sedated," he added.
Green's father and boyfriend were expected to fly to New York Wednesday from her native Leicester, England, according to reports.
"We are a really close family. We are all devastated by what has happened. We don't know what to say," her distraught father, Jason Green, told the Leicester Mercury. "We just want to be at our daughter's side right now... She is in recovery now and they have had to amputate what's left of her foot."
Green's boyfriend, William Lord, who plays professional basketball in England, told his father that he spoke to Green by phone.
"Sian is as upbeat as you can be about this. She is determined to not let this ruin her life," Lord's father told the Mercury.
Lord's friends, who live in New York, visited Bellevue to keep Green company until Lord could arrive.
"She's all alone," said a friend who declined to give his name. "We drove down from upstate."
The runaway taxi's driver, Mohammed F. Himon, was not immediately arrested, but Kelly said Wednesday that charges could still be brought pending an investigation. Himon, who has been a taxi driver since 2010, has so far only been issued a summons for not being authorized to drive on the taxi's medallion number, police said.
"These collisions and accidents take time to reconstruct," Kelly told reporters. "There were summonses issued to the cab driver. It's certainly not closed as yet."
This is not the first Himon has been involved in traffic injury, according to state motor vehicle records.
In October 2011, he got in an accident in Manhattan during which someone was hurt, the DMV said.
In 2010, the same year that he received his hack license, Himon got hit with nine points on his license and $265 in fines for speeding, running a red light and driving in a bus lane, records show. The next year he was busted for making an illegal left turn and was fined $50.
The DMV knocked off two of those points after he took a defensive driving course.
That may not be enough for him to keep his job.
The Taxi and Limousine Commission spokesman said Wednesday they plan to suspend his license.
Witnesses said that Himon got into an argument with a bicyclist while trying to make a left turn on Sixth Avenue at 49th Street when he flipped the biker onto his hood and careened onto the sidewalk.
The cab crashed into a planter where Green was sitting with her friend, severing her foot above the ankle, witnesses said.
Dave Justino, a plumber out on his lunch break, whipped off his belt and wrapped it around the woman's leg to stanch the bleeding, he told DNAinfo.
"She screamed at the top of her lungs, bloody murder, that it hurts," Justino said. "Stop the leak. That's what I had to do."
Justino stopped by the hospital Wednesday afternoon to check in on Green, but was turned away because his name was not on a list of authorized visitors.
Max Crespo, who owns a pizza truck that was parked nearby, grabbed Green's severed leg and packed it into a cooler of ice that a nearby food cart worker provided, he said.
"We were just telling her, 'Everything is going to be OK. Help is on the way,'" Crespo said.
Trevor Kapp contributed reporting.