MOTT HAVEN — A hit-and-run driver who mowed down a 50-year-old woman in The Bronx Monday intentionally rammed his victim after she pushed her two friends to safety following a fight with the driver, sources said.
The victim, whose name was not released, was struck by a white sedan making a U-turn at 138th Street and Bruckner Boulevard around 1 p.m., police said.
Henry Maldonado and Julio Carrillo were standing with the victim, who lived in the same building, when she began to exchange words with the the driver, according to Maldonado and sources.
Maldonado and Carillo then started walking towards the car, prompting the driver to roll up his window and hit the gas, making a U-turn and heading straight for the trio.
The victim pushed Maldonado and Carrillo out of the way before being struck, the men said.
She was taken to Lincoln Hospital in critical condition Tuesday but her her condition was improving, police said.
"I felt angry, man," said Maldonado, who said the trio had gone out for coffee and were on their way to get lunch. "It was unnecessary."
Maldonado described the victim, whose name he declined to give, as a "sweet person" who would "give you the last dime in her pocket."
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES), then entering TIP577.