One person was killed and four others injured Monday morning after police in Queens say a van jumped a curb near La Guardia Community College in Long Island City.
Standing on the sidewalk along a busy street, they assumed they were safe. But at 10:30 a.m. Monday, being on a stretch of sidewalk was the worst possible place for 16-year-old Tenzin Drudak and four others to be, as a Dodge Caravan careened out of control and plowed into them.
Drudak, a student at Applied Communications High School, was killed. The four others were injured.
"My heart goes out to the family," said one person at the scene. "I'm really sad."
They were among a group of people standing on the sidewalk across the street from La Guardia Community College. A spokeswoman said that some of those who were hit are students. Many were shaken up describing what they saw.
"The last gentleman was trying to run away," said one person at the scene. "He saw it coming and tried to turn around and run, but the car was coming too fast and he hit him."
"Shocking," said another. In a nutshell, the only way to describe it is, 'Wow.'"
Police said the driver was traveling eastbound on Thomson Avenue near 30th Street when he careened across oncoming traffic and over the curb, mowing down a traffic light along with the five people.
Students said the corridor has become dangerous. One person said she can't be sure it's safe to cross even if they have the light.
"They think this is like a racing street," she said. "It is not safe at all."
"It could've easily been me. If I hadn't been across the street, that would've been me," said another. "My heart can't go out to them enough, because it's insane to think that just out of nowhere, something like that can happen.
A spokeswoman with La Guardia Community College said traffic has been a major concern and they support any efforts to improve safety.