tour bus

A woman was hit and killed by a tour bus driver on Amsterdam Avenue and 113th street Wednesday afternoon around 3 p.m. and another bystander was injured, according to police and FDNY officials.

The woman was standing in front of the tour bus, which had just let off some passengers when the bus began to move forward, a police spokesman said. “She was struck and went underneath the bus,” the spokesman said. She was declared dead at the scene. The second person was taken to St. Luke’s hospital with unspecified injuries, according to FDNY.

The police investigation is ongoing and we expect to have more information later.

Update: The Times reports that the woman who died was 68-year-old Spanish tourist Wanda Canestri.

The police said Ms. Canestri had not been a passenger on the bus, which was involved in ferrying children to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Before the accident, it had been pulled over and idling in an area reserved for buses waiting to drop off or retrieve passengers.

The bus, a Mercedes, remained at the scene several hours after the episode, cordoned off by police tape as officers and fire officials examined its underside.

Douglas Marques, a manager at Artopolis Espresso, a bakery and coffee bar a block from the scene, said the area was particularly crowded lately because of graduation ceremonies at Columbia University. “They closed down the block pretty fast,” he said.

This area has been the scene of other serious collisions, including a fatal crash late last year. Councilman Mark Levine has called for changes to the street.

Photo by Matt Overley.

NEWS | 8 comments | permalink
    1. ron shapley says:

      Yes, councilman Levine, like getting all those tour buses that converge on St. John the Divine, OFF the road… It is mayhem in that neighborhood…

      • Peggy Taylor says:

        The Cathedral is one of the city’s major tourist attractions. Where are the buses supposed to park? A tragic, but rare accident. This is the first one I’ve ever heard of near the church.

        • Derek says:

          Peggy, the article clearly states that another woman was killed there late last year, and it provides a link as well. The other victim was named Guler Ugur, and I was her friend. She was killed on New Year’s Eve crossing the exact same intersection by a hit-and-run driver. It is shocking and deplorable to see that there has been yet another victim at the exact same spot less than five months later. http://www.rememberguler.org.

        • Mark says:

          They used to never come up here in the 90’s. For YEARS St. John’s was always empty and it was like our own private Cathedral around here. The administration definitely needed extra income, so I understand needing to draw tourists but it’s pretty terrible how much of uptown has become like midtown these days. Them’s the breaks

    2. Tyson White says:

      There seems to be a high number of tour bus deaths and serious injuries. Like the one that happened less than 2 months ago on Riverside Dr https://www.westsiderag.com/2015/03/26/woman-hit-by-double-decker-bus-on-riverside-drive

    3. Miriam says:

      Although horrific and tragic, this accident cannot and should not be compared to traffic fatalities that occur when vehicles are traveling on the road. It is obvious the bus was parked and the pedestrians stepped in front of it thinking it was safe. This is not a ‘traffic accident’ in the technical sense of the word. It remains to be seen why a parked bus moved forward at such a high rate of speed that the woman ended up under the bus but it has nothing to do with what happened on New Year’s Eve. To compare the two is pure sensationalism.

      • Tyson White says:

        Yes. Why on earth would anyone compare carelessness of a bus driver who drives into a woman standing right in front his bus to another driver’s carelessness who was texting or otherwise not paying attention and hitting people by “accident” when making turns? They may have the same cause, but they are entirely different people!

    4. Tyson White says:

      Similar incident in July: Two women visiting from Spain hit by white tour bus http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Women-Hit-Bus-Midtown-Trans-Bridge-Lines-Accident-Police-267011651.html