LOWER EAST SIDE — A 73-year-old home-health aid was fatally struck by an MTA bus while crossing a busy Manhattan intersection on her way to work Tuesday morning, police said.
Anna Colon was filling in for a friend who had called in sick and was crossing East Houston Street when she was struck by the bus as it turned east from Avenue D about 9:50 a.m., the NYPD and friends said.
Colon, who had nine children, was clutching a picture of a saint in her hand when she was struck, family and police said. She died at the scene.
"She was very hard working. She was always smiling," said close friend Gladys Colon (no relation). "She was very religious. She was like a mother to me."
Her niece, Yahaira Sanchez, 32, found the picture of St. Jude laying next to her aunt's body.
"When I picked this up from the floor, I was devastated," Sandchez said, clutching the laminate card of the patron saint of hope and impossible causes.
"She was a very loving person," Sanchez added. "She would never say no. If she had a dollar, it was for whoever needed it."
Friends said she came to New York about 20 years ago from the Dominican Republic and was a devoted wife.
"She was the family stone," Colon said. "She held the family together."
Police could not say who had the right-of-way.
Alberto Roberson, 62, had just gotten off the bus before the accident.
"He turned a little wide," Roberson said. "That was something else. I'm just devastated."
He said the driver seemed cautious before the accident.
"He seemed careful, stopping on the lights, not speeding," he said.
Sanchez said the driver should have been more careful.
"It wasn't a bird it was a human being," she said. "He should have seen her."
The bus driver remained on scene and the investigation is ongoing, police said.