NOLITA — An elderly woman was struck and killed Thursday by a party rental van as she crossed Kenmare Street, police and witnesses said.
The woman was heading west on Kenmare Street about 1:30 p.m., wearing a raincoat and carrying a shopping bag, when a white van decorated with a pink hippopotamus turned left onto Elizabeth Street at a green light and hit her, police and witnesses said.
Police did not release her name, but said she was believed to be in her 80s.
"It sounded like a car hitting a bike," said Greg, a host at The Butcher's Daughter restaurant who gave only his first name. "It was a popping sound. She looked very fragile."
The woman was taken to New York Downtown Hospital with severe injuries and pronounced dead, police said.
The driver of the van, owned by New Jersey party supply company, Party Rental Ltd., remained at the scene.
"The cops came and her shopping bag was still in her hand," said Mary Chifo, 79, who was doing wash at a nearby laundromat. "There was a lot of blood."
Barney Drew, vice president of human resources at Party Rental Ltd., confirmed that one of the company's vans was involved in the accident, but had no additional details.
"It's under investigation," he said. He did not release the driver's name, but said the company reviews each driver's motor vehicle record once a year.