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Minivan fatally strikes man, goes down embankment

November 30, 2012 7:41:25 PM PST
A vehicle fatally struck a man, went down an embankment, and landed near rail tracks, in an accident in Hastings-on-Hudson.

The 34-year-old worker was just doing his job raking leaves and cleaning up outside of a catering hall when he was run over by a minivan.

The van punctured a hole through a fence before plunging down the hill towards the train tracks just before rush hour on Friday.

The final piece of the puzzle was pulled 80 feet up a steep hill, a twisted and crushed minivan with Connecticut plates.

The van never made it onto the Metro-North Railroad tracks down below where speeding trains ferried Friday commuters home.

Instead, it got stuck and twisted in the brush and trees.

The man driving the van is expected to be okay.

"Believe it or not after the 80 foot drop off the ravine, he was able to walk out on his own power," said Assistant Chief Thomas Fitzgerald, of the Yonkers Fire Department.

But 34-year-old Mario Mora, the catering and banquet hall worker, who was hit while raking leaves didn't survive.

His girlfriend didn't say much to reporters as she left the scene of the crash and neither did Mora's step-daughter.

"What are you feeling right now?" a reporter asked.

"Not good, something happened so fast," said Anna Sanchez, the victim's step-daughter.

It's unclear if speed, alcohol, or drowsiness were factors in the deadly crash.

police will only say they're investigating, adding only that this curve in the roadway has not resulted in crashes like this.

"It's not a known problem spot," police said.

In the meantime, Mario Mora's friends and family are left wondering why.

"He's a hard worker, we have no complaints about him," a co-worker said.

"He's a good friend. He's worked here for a long time, 16 years," another co-worker said.

Police tell Eyewitness News the driver is cooperating.

Friends say Mora's girlfriend is pregnant.

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