Gitty Hirshenbaum was standing on the corner of 18th Avenue and 55th Street when she found herself facing a black Toyota Camry headed straight for her, as previously reported on VIN News (http://bit.ly/2jpoeTi).
Police said that the driver of the car, 48 year old Mustapha Ouchaoui, suffered either a seizure or a heart attack, causing him to lose control of the vehicle.
Ouchaoui’s passenger appeared to realize that something was amiss, according to CBS News, and video surveillance shows the rear door of the car opening briefly as the vehicle traveled north on 55th Avenue and crossed 18th Avenue.
Gitty Hirshenbaum attempted to flee the car which had mounted the sidewalk and but was struck by the cab and thrown onto its hood before she rolled off onto the grass of an adjacent home.
Her father, Isaac Hirshenbaum, said that he was grateful to have his daughter home safely.
“I’ve seen the video, and I’ve seen my daughter two minutes after,” said Hirshenbaum. “I just thank God that this is the outcome.”
Hirshenbaum said that Gitty’s book-laden backpack likely absorbed some of the impact and spared her a more serious injury.
Neighbors said that had the accident occurred just a few minutes later, there could have been as many as seven girls standing on the corner waiting for their bus to take them to school.
“God watches us every day but today he had an extra eye on us this morning,” observed Yanky Meyer of Misaskim.
Both Gitty Hirshenbaum and Ouchaoui were transported to Maimonides Hospital.
Ouchaoui remains hospitalized in critical condition.