Volume 76, Number 37 | February 7 -13, 2007

Villager photo by Lawrence Lerner

A sheet covered the remains of a woman hit on W. 16th St. Monday morning. A box for Chelsea Now, The Villager’s sister paper, was put in the street to help block traffic.

Woman killed by truck at dangerous Chelsea crossing

By Lawrence Lerner

An elderly woman was crushed to death Monday morning after being hit by a truck on what has long been considered one of the most dangerous corners in Chelsea.

Amelia Chimienti, 82, of 335 W. 14th St., was killed instantly just after 11 a.m., as she was crossing south on 16th St. on the east side of Ninth Ave., police said.

The driver, who police refused to identify, had not been arrested or charged with a crime as of Tuesday afternoon, according to police.

According to the police and eyewitnesses, Chimienti was hit when the truck, driving north on Ninth Ave., turned right onto 16th St. and struck her. They said the vehicle, from Sunny Lumber & Hardware in Brooklyn, continued on for a short distance before parking down the block.

Ehsan Powanda, an Afghan native who serves the nearby lunch crowd from his food cart on 16th St. near Eighth Ave., saw the accident while he was warming up just inside the glass doorway of the Maritime Hotel, some 50 yards from the scene.

He said the northbound light on Ninth Ave. was yellow when the truck turned right and struck the elderly woman.

“I think he was trying to make the light, and he hit her. She was dead. And then his back tires ran over her. It was terrible.”

Powanda said a cab behind the truck also ran over the woman’s body before the next car stopped and halted traffic.

Austin Thruber, a sales rep at Hilti, a construction tools company located on the southeast corner of Ninth Ave. and 16th St., is wary of the intersection where the accident occurred.

“You’ve got one northbound lane coming head-on with four southbound lanes. The woman probably perceived that all the traffic was going south. It’s easy to do. You barely notice cars coming north there,” he said.

The city is considering eliminating the northbound lane between 16th and 14th Sts., replacing it with a pedestrian mall, making Ninth Ave. all one-way southbound.


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