EAST VILLAGE — A woman suffered severe head injuries when a box truck hit her as she rode her bike up First Avenue on Wednesday morning, police said.
The 31-year-old woman, whose name wasn't immediately released, was heading north on the avenue when the truck hit her near East Ninth Street about 7:20 a.m., an NYPD spokesman said.
"I heard a noise that was pretty loud, a grinding sound. I looked and saw the [woman] by the driver's side back wheel," said Karen Atanesyan, 49, a deliveryman in the area.
The woman was moving and talking briefly before becoming motionless, witnesses said.
"They lady was saying, 'I can't move. I can't breathe.' She was on her back. Her eyes were blinking rapidly. Then she just closed them. Her leg was stuck under the wheel. The tire was over her ribs," said Cheyenne Brown, 26, who works in a nearby coffee shop.
Emergency responders came shortly afterwards, witnesses said.
"They lifted the back of the truck up. There was blood mostly on her clothes and face," Brown said.
"She was fighting through the whole thing. They put her on a stretcher. She was completely gray. You couldn't see her moving anymore," Brown said.
She suffered severe head trauma and was treated at Bellevue Hospital, where she was listed in critical condition, police said.
The truck driver remained at the scene and wasn't immediately arrested, police said.
"He just looked like he was in shock," Atanesyan said of the driver. "It was horrible."