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MTA: Officer Hit By Car On Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- The MTA says an officer has been hospitalized in critical condition after being hit by a car at the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

Officer Thomas Choi was reopening the lower roadway of the bridge between Staten Island and Brooklyn shortly before 8 a.m. Sunday when he was hit by a car driven by a 26-year-old woman from Bayonne, N.J., the MTA said.

MTA: Officer Hit By Car On Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

The impact sent the officer into the windshield and then catapulted him 10 feet to the ground. He was hospitalized with severe pelvic and head injuries.

MTA: Officer Hit By Car On Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

The 10-year veteran was in the process of removing traffic barrels at the time, authorities said.

As of early Sunday evening, the officer remained in critical condition, authorities said.

MTA Bridge and Tunnel Special Operations Director Daniel DeCrescenzo said the signs, barrels and lights are there for a reason, 1010 WINS' Gary Baumgarten reported.

"It's a very dangerous occupation," he said, "so when you see the construction workers on the side of the road, or Bridges and Tunnels personnel – be it maintenance or officers – that's why we have red and green arrows. That's why we have barrels and cones for traffic control."

As WCBS 880's Jim Smith reported, officers from the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority were keeping a vigil at the hospital for Choi, 61.

"We're going to have an officer here as long as he's here," DeCrescenzo said.

The MTA says the cause of the accident is under investigation.

"We believe that drugs or alcohol were not an issue, and yes, the person did stay and remained at the scene, DeCrescenzo said.

The lower level of the bridge is closed on weekends from midnight until about 8 a.m.

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(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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