By Paul Bisceglio
*Update*: An NYPD spokesperson announced on Wednesday that Greg Smith was charged with failure to yield to a pedestrian and failure to exercise due care.
South Village resident Jessica Dworkin, 58, was killed on Monday morning when the rear of a tractor trailer hit her and dragged her two blocks under its back wheels. According to witnesses, she attempted to cross Sixth Avenue on a foot scooter at the same time the 18-wheeler was making a right turn onto the avenue from West Houston Street. The truck swept her into its wheels.
Witnesses attempted to alert the unaware driver, Greg Smith, who finally stopped at Carmine Street.
“There were a dozen people running up the street screaming and telling him to stop,” witness Christian Cruz told the Daily News. “He didn’t notice. I saw all the blood and couldn’t look anymore.”
Another witness told the Daily News that once Smith realized what was going on, he rushed out of the truck. “He put his hands on his head like, ‘What did I do?’ He started screaming and crying.”
According to police, Smith is not expected to be charged. Dworkin was pronounced dead at the scene.
Soho Alliance director Sean Sweeney said that “everyone knew” Dworkin around Soho and Greenwich Village. Craig Walker, a longtime resident and friend of hers, told DNAinfo that she moved into her Thompson Street apartment back in the 1970’s.
Dworkin was an eccentric and sociable artistic type who spent a lot of time traveling the street on her scooter, according to Sweeney. Her taste for thrift store clothing made her easily stand out.
“She had a shabby finery to her clothing,” Sweeney told New York Press. “She was a bit of a hoarder — very fashion conscioius, in her own unique way.”
She was even known to change her outfits as many as four times a day, according to Michael Robinson, a Soho store manager who saw her almost daily for 23 years. She was a “fixture in the neighborhood,” he told DNAinfo.
One Soho resident who wished to remain anonymous mentioned rumors that Dworkin had recently been fighting eviction because of hoarding, but that neighbors came to her support and helped her to stay.
“She was well liked,” affirmed Sweeney. “She was a real neighborhood character who gave flavor to the neighborhood.”
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