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Police: MTA Bus Driver Charged After Hit-And-Run That Killed 70-Year-Old In Brooklyn

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Police have charged the driver of a Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus they believe was involved in a fatal hit-and-run accident in Brooklyn.

Carol Bell, 70, was crossing Sackman Street at Fulton Street in Ocean Hill around 6:15 a.m. Tuesday when she was struck, police said.

Investigators determined the B15 bus was turning right from Sackman Street to go east on Fulton Street at the time, police said.

The bus drove away after the accident, but police tracked down the driver, 48-year-old Paul Roper, a short time later, 1010 WINS' Mona Rivera reported.

"The bus didn't even know where she was in the street, he thought she was trash like some garbage or something," the victim's friend, Jajaida Meyers, said.

"It's so sad the way she had to die this way...but they got it on camera, so I hope these people release that because this is a tragedy," said friend Jennifer Gonzales.

Emergency responders found Bell laying on the pavement unconscious and unresponsive with trauma, police said.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Bell died only a block from where she lived at the Magnolia House Women's Shelter on Herkimer Street, Rivera reported.

Residents said Bell, who used a walker, woke up early every morning to attend a detox program.

"She was a nice person," one man said. "We was like family, cause all of us has been together at least close to almost a year."

"She was a very loving, kind person. I was in shock when I heard this, and I'm at a loss for words too because I just passed yesterday speaking with her and I saw her outside, laughing and having fun, going about her normal day. It's a shock," said friend John Foster.

Roper has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident, failure to yield to a pedestrian and failure to exercise due care, police said.

CBS2 reached out to Transport Workers Union Local 100, the union that represents the bus driver, and they released a statement saying, "This is a terrible tragedy, and our hearts and prayers go out to all family and friends. We will closely follow the investigation, which is in a very early stage."

Roper could be arraigned Tuesday night.

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