WILLIAMSBURG — An MTA bus driver was arrested hours after hitting and seriously injuring a 15-year-old girl in a Grand Street crosswalk Friday morning, officials said.
Francisco DeJesus, was charged with not exercising due care and failure to yield after his Q59 bus ran over the teen's left leg while making a left turn onto Grand Street from Union Avenue, city and Transit Workers Union 100 officials said.
Police picked him up from there and brought him to the stationhouse, according to union vice president J.P. Patafio.
"The driver’s in trauma. He’s had a very disturbing and tragic accident. He’s in a state of shock. The driver himself broke down. We feel terrible," Patafio said of the 29-year MTA veteran.
The city has been cracking down on drivers involved in pedestrian related accidents. An MTA bus driver who fatally struck a 78-year-old in East Flatbush in December was also charged with failure to yield.
Video of the Friday incident from a nearby bodega's camera shows the Q59 bus swinging around the corner just as the girl steps into the crosswalk, hitting her and then dragging her out of the frame.
“Oh my God, the lady was crossing the street. He did not see the lady. The people in the street were screaming,” said Jose Aguilar, 48, who owns nearby Grand Gourmet Deli.
"I saw the girl crossing the street. The bus came in fast," said Aguilar's worker, El Mehdi Ouafiq.
He said a woman stayed with the girl when she couldn't pull her from under the tire.
A video Ouafiq shot shows the girl's bright green shoes poking out from beneath the bus' large wheel while a group of people huddle around her trying to help.
"I heard the girl screaming," Ouafiq said.
The union rushed to the driver's side, saying that the girl's injuries were the result of a tragic accident and that the driver has had a clean record for nearly 30 years.
"He has a very, very, very, very good record. I know the history. He’s the kindest gentleman," Patafio said.