NEW YORK -- Dr. Jeanne A. Petrek, a leading breast cancer researcher at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, died Monday after she was struck by an ambulette while on her way to work.
She was crossing the intersection of Second Avenue and 64th Street at about 10 a.m., when she was hit by the vehicle, which was trying to make a left turn, police said. The driver, who was not responding to an emergency, was given a summons for failing to yield. An ambulette is a vehicle with limited emergency equipment.
Eight workers lifted the vehicle off the trapped woman by hand and helped carry her across the street. She underwent hours of surgery before she succumbed to her injuries.
Dr. Petrek, 57, was a surgeon who worked at the hospital for 20 years and had won acclaim for her work, which examined patient quality-of-life issues. She was near completion of a 10-year study that looked at issues that included the safety of pregnancy after breast cancer.
Throughout her career, Dr. Petrek treated more than 4,000 women and was considered a pioneer in changing many views about surgery.
She is noted for developing a treatment for the condition called lymphedema, which causes limbs to swell after cancerous lymph nodes are removed.
She first came to Memorial Sloan-Kettering in 1978 after an internship at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, then returned in 1984 after working briefly in Atlanta.
Dr. Petrek served as director of the surgical program at the hospital's Evelyn H. Lauger Breast Center.