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Woman Dead, Man Seriously Hurt After Being Hit By Empty Van In Astoria, Queens

UPDATED 09/01/16 12:15 a.m.

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A man and woman were struck by an empty van when it rolled back in Astoria, Queens Wednesday afternoon, and the woman later died.

The 80-year-old woman and the 71-year-old man were on the sidewalk at Broadway and 32nd Street when the van rolled back and struck them just after 2 p.m., police sources told CBS2.

The van slammed the pair into a food cart, sources said. Witnesses said the man was working at the food truck at the time.

Police told 1010 WINS two others were also struck.

Police said the driver of the van left it parked to go to a nearby deli, and it was unoccupied when it rolled across the street.

As WCBS 880's Alex Silverman reported, the sidewalk was left littered with cucumbers, blueberries and blood following the accident. The white van was at an angle against the wall of a bank.

"He thought he put the car in park. But he actually put it in reverse," said Nicholas Drivakos, who was standing across the street at the time.

Drivakos described what he saw the driver of the van do.

"And so he got out. He got out and it just started picking up speed," Drivakos said. "Went across Broadway. Got onto the sidewalk. Hit the old lady. Hit the worker and pushed the cart 20 feet to where it is now."

As CBS2's Valerie Castro reported, Richard O'Sullivan, a bartender from a nearby bar, was on his smoke break across the street when the accident happened.

"Lit my cigarette, had two puffs, next thing I saw this white van backing up. The back left wheel and the front right wheel rolled over this old lady's neck and then hit an older gentleman, knocked the souvlaki stand, and it was just devastating," O'Sullivan said. "It was a horrible thing to see."

The woman was reported in critical condition, while the man was stable, police said.

Police said the woman who was injured is not expected to survive, but the man is expected to recover.

Drivakos ran to help the man, who had a head injury. He said he could feel his legs. He said the driver did not try to help the victims.

"He was just, 'Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God!' And that was it," Drivakos said.

The man and woman were taken to Elmhurst Hospital Center, where the woman was reported in critical condition. The woman was later

Police said the woman who was injured is not expected to survive, but the man is expected to recover.

Police were talking to the owner of the van late Wednesday. No one had been arrested or charged.

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