A road rage spat between a taxi driver and a cyclist could have caused the accident that left a young British holidaymaker in New York with severe leg injuries, it has emerged.
Sian Green, 23, was hit by an out-of-control yellow taxi in Manhattan on Tuesday morning as she ate a hotdog by a fountain outside the Rockefeller Center on her first day in the city.
Passers-by rushed to help the stricken woman as she suffered a severed lower left-leg and a badly mangled right leg.
Officer Annette Markowski of the New York Police Department told The Independent: “The investigation continues and the female [Ms Green] is in a stable condition.”
She declined to comment on road rage as the cause of the accident, adding only that no arrests had been made.
A plumber and a pizza truck owner were hailed as heroes as they made a tourniquet from a belt, and put the women’s severed lower limb in a nearby ice cooler while the emergency services arrived.
Dr Mehmet Oz, a television star from The Dr Oz Show, also rushed to the scene and helped the two other men attend to the Briton as she lay conscious with half her leg missing.
The New York Post quoted a cycle courier Kenneth Olivo, 40, who escaped with minor injuries from the accident, as saying he was involved in a road rage row with the taxi before it hit Ms Green.
Citing police sources, the newspaper said both the cyclist and the taxi driver Mohammed Himon, 24, were heading north on Sixth Avenue when Mr Himon cut up the yellow vehicle.
“It was like a damn movie,” Mr Olivo said. The cycle messenger said the taxi driver, of Bangladeshi descent, chased him to 49th Street where the accident took place.
“I told him to calm down... He gets angry, he honks his horn, and he accelerates, and that’s it — I’m on the hood of the car, and the woman is under his car... He accelerated, because I couldn’t escape him,” Mr Olivo said. Doctors at Bellevue Hospital were fighting to save Ms Green’s right leg.
Ms Markowski of the NYPD said the young woman’s left leg had been amputated below the knee.
Mr Himon, who wasn’t authorised to drive his taxi, was issued with a ticket by police and then released. Ms Green flew into New York with a friend from London on Monday night.
“I feel really, really bad... It was a very bad accident,“ Mr Himon told the New York Post.
He claimed he was distracted by Mr Olivo banging on the back of his vehicle, and accidentally accelerated.
“Actually, I can’t even remember it. It happened really quick,” he said.
“I am praying to Allah for her.“
The family of the 23-year-old woman said they just wanted to “bring her home”.
Messages on her Instagram account show Ms Green was excited about her upcoming trip to New York.
An employee of Hugo Boss, she studied fashion buying at De Montfort University in Leicester, the Evening Standard reported.