>On my way walking home from buying an engagement present for BIL and FSIL on behalf of my peeps in the Midwest, the roar of sirens filled the air. Since this happens routinely in Manhattan, I didn’t pay too much attention to it. However, as I neared my apartment, the emergency workers were decamping on W. 73rd Street. A bus was stopped mid-turn. One of the cops was asking another one where the tape was. A human silhouette lay on the street, under white sheets. I shuddered.

Later, I went to make some respectable business cards for my new consulting practice at Kinko’s, and I had to pass the crime scene on the way. Most of the crowds had dispersed by then. I was at Kinko’s for 20 minutes (the woman ringing me up kept overcharging me), and when I left, sirens again blared up the street. Nothing new was going on at the crime scene, though.

Then I turned the corner onto Amsterdam, and new tape was blocking off the street. Traffic was backing up and trapped – they could not go up Amsterdam or turn off on W. 73rd. Crowds were again assembling. Then I noticed the lone vehicle (a tractor trailer) in the street and the white sheets underneath it. Another pedestrian run down, for a total of two dead within a block and a half in the past hour and a half or so.

One of the women standing around approached me and told me she’d been on the bus when it hit the man. It seems that he was running across the street and when he stepped up on the curb, he lost his balance and fell backward. His head was immediately crushed under the wheels of the bus as it approached to make a right turn. As this same woman was giving her statement to the police, she heard screaming. The police radio crackled with static and the news that a woman appearing to be in her early 60s was hit by the semi. Her head was crushed also.

I plan to be more careful when I cross the street in the future. Life is fleeting.