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Man Sitting On Bench Struck, Killed By SUV On Staten Island

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A man was struck and killed by a vehicle Wednesday afternoon as he sat on a park bench on Staten Island.

A driver has been charged in the incident.

As CBS2's Tracee Carrasco reported, David Craig, 57, was sitting on the bench at Bay Street and Victory Boulevard, in the Tompkinsville section of Staten Island, when the accident happened around 2 p.m., police said.

David Craig
David Craig was struck and killed by an out-of-control vehicle while sitting on a park bench on Staten Island on Wednesday, June 24. (Family Photo)

Two vehicles were involved in a crash at the intersection, police said.

A 2008 Nissan Rogue headed south on Bay Street collided with a 2003 Nissan Altima turning left onto westbound Victory Boulevard, police told 1010 WINS. The vehicles collided, sending the Nissan sport-utility vehicle onto the sidewalk, and into Craig as he sat on the bench at Tompkinsville Park, police said.

"Part of her bumper flew past me, so I ducked – you know what I mean? And I looked," said William Gibson.

Once Gibson looked up and saw the aftermath of the accident, he and two other men ran over to help pull the uninjured driver out of the black Nissan.

But when they got to the vehicle, they quickly realized there was another victim, Craig, trapped underneath the SUV.

"We looked down and there was another pair of legs that we didn't know where they came from," said witness John Childs.

Cellphone video showed chaos just moments after, with a witness yelling, "There's a man there!"

"When she landed on him – when the whole vehicle landed on him -- nobody knew he was under there. That's how much of his body was under it," added Gibson.

Craig was pronounced dead at Richmond University Medical Center, police said.

"As soon as she hit the car, she was airborne, you know what I mean?" Gibson said. "All he had a chance to do was look up and he was done."

Hours later, Craig's red bag and belongings were still scattered around the park, along with debris and pieces of the SUV.

Late Wednesday, Craig's father, Edward Craig, was shocked by the loss of his son – a Vietnam veteran.

"We're a small family," he said. "I guess we're doing OK right now."

The woman who was driving the Nissan Rogue -- Oriamor Benson, 25, of Staten Island -- was charged Wednesday night with driving while ability impaired, according to police.

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