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British tourist hit by NYC cab: Strangers 'saved my life'

Sep. 24, 2013 at 8:39 AM ET

If it were not for the kindness and quick thinking of strangers, Sian Green knows she may not be alive today.

On Aug. 20, Green, 23, and her friend, Keshia Warren, were shopping in Manhattan on the second day of their vacation from their home in England when a taxi driver lost control, went up on to the sidewalk and struck Green on 49th and Sixth Avenue. Green’s left foot was severed in the collision, and several people on the scene immediately rushed to help.

“There’s good people in this world, very good people in this world that I can’t thank enough,’’ Green told Matt Lauer on TODAY Tuesday. “They saved my life. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be sitting here right now telling this story.”

British tourist in NYC taxi crash out of ICU, 'in good spirits' 

Green was rushed to Bellevue Hospital, where doctors amputated her left leg below the knee and treated multiple deep lacerations on her right leg. Her doctors expect her right leg to regain most functionality. She has just been released by Bellevue Hospital and continues to undergo therapy. Green’s naturally upbeat nature has also carried her through a trying time.

“She’s grateful to be here and all the support she’s having, and she just takes it day by day,’’ Stacey Green, Sian’s sister, told TODAY. “It’s quite difficult, but she’s a very optimistic person.”

Her interview in Studio 1A took place a block away from the accident, and being out in the streets of Manhattan again has brought back emotions from that day.

“It is a little bit because I haven’t been out in five weeks,’’ Green said. “It takes me back a little bit. When I see a yellow car, I’m just a bit like (exhales), but I’ll get there.”

An aspiring model from Leicester, England, who was training as a buyer for Hugo Boss, Green was on her third trip to New York City at the time of the accident. 

“We came here thinking we were just coming on a holiday, and then it’s been a whirlwind and it’s turned upside down,’’ Green said. “(I remember) walking getting a drink, just going to Times Square, walking, having a great time with my best friend and that was it.”

“I couldn’t move,’’ Green said of the crash. “It was one of those things. If I had gone left, it would have gotten me, if I had gone right, it would’ve gotten me.”

“I didn’t realize until I turned around and saw the whole accident that she wasn’t with me,’’ Warren told Lauer.

Making the ordeal particularly difficult was that Green was so far from home. She said she was calling out for her mother in the ambulance.

“It was really difficult,’’ she said. “The worst thing that you want to hear is that your daughter’s been in an accident so far away from home. All those miles away, mom and dad had to get the first flight out, and I could just not imagine what they were going through.’’

“It was my sister that was on the phone, and when she said about the leg and her amputation, I was hurt,’’ Sonia Green, Sian’s mother, told TODAY.

Green has also made it through the life-changing event with the help of Warren, her best friend.

“She’s been my rock,’’ Green said. “I couldn’t do half the things without her, I really couldn’t.”

The Manhattan district attorney’s office is investigating the incident, but no charges have been filed against the driver of the taxi cab.

“Further legal decisions await the results of an ongoing criminal investigation of the incident by the district attorney’s office,’’ Green’s attorney, Daniel Marchese, said in a statement. 

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