Man killed in freak accident when NYC bus knocks over street pole

NEW YORK (WABC) - A New York man died after being struck by a street pole that fell when it was hit by a city bus. His wife is now in mourning, remembering him as a giving person.

Police say the Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus was trying to navigate around a disabled vehicle April 8 when it ran up onto the sidewalk and hit the pole, causing it to fall. The pole landed on 59-year-old Lance Margolin, who was walking home from a birthday party with his wife, Karen Balestire, and friends.

Lance Margolin, 59, died from injuries sustained in the accident. He had been walking home from a birthday party with his wife and friends when he was struck.
Lance Margolin, 59, died from injuries sustained in the accident. He had been walking home from a birthday party with his wife and friends when he was struck. (Source: Family photos, WABC via CNN)

“Just missed me and hit him. I was right next to him,” Balestire said. “I didn’t want him to leave me.”

Margolin was rushed with head and bodily injuries to the hospital, where he died two days later.

For Margolin’s loved ones, while it’s difficult to process how he died, it’s easy to understand and celebrate how he lived.

“He was a great guy,” Balestire said. “He’d give the shirt off his back. He was just the greatest. He was so humble. He gave to everybody. Even if he didn’t have, he gave.”

To further that point, Margolin is an organ donor - one final act of giving, even in death.

An investigation remains underway by the New York Police Department Highway District’s Collision Investigation Squad.

“This is a tragedy for all involved,” said MTA Bus Company President Craig Cipriano. “Our thoughts are with the victim’s family as they deal with a terrible loss. We are fully cooperating with the NYPD’s investigation, and the bus operator has been withheld from passenger service pending a thorough internal review.”

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