Two young children were killed and three others, including both their mothers, were injured after being struck by a car in Park Slope Monday afternoon, police and fire officials said.
All of the victims were pedestrians, officials said, in a crash that happened near the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Ninth Street around 12:40 p.m.
The children, 1-year-old Josh Lew and 4-year-old Abigail Blumenstein, were pronounced dead at NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, police said. Abigail’s mother, Ruth Ann Blumenstein, 34, who is pregnant, and Josh’s mother, Lauren Lew, 33, were also taken to the hospital and were in stable condition, a police source said.
A 46-year-old man was treated for minor injuries, cops said.
The boy was in a stroller, which was dragged with the car, a white Volvo, about halfway down the block, between Fourth and Fifth avenues.
The car, headed west on Ninth Street, had been stopped at a red light. The driver began to inch into the intersection, then started to speed up as people were crossing the street, police said.
The 44-year-old driver, identified by a source as Dorothy Bruns, of Staten Island, believed she’d had a medical episode, the NYPD said. A law enforcement source said on Tuesday that Bruns suffers from seizures. Her license was suspended, a source said, but she had not been charged as of Tuesday evening.
“There’s a full investigation underway,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at an unrelated news conference on Monday. “This loss of life is tragic and painful for all of us, especially parents.”
June Clark-Smith, 60, was standing by the intersection when the crash occurred and ran over to the visibly pregnant mother who, she said, was lying on the ground and bleeding badly. The mother kept calling for “my baby.”
“She got up on one knee,” Clark-Smith said. “I said, ‘please, the ambulance is here, they’re taking care of the baby.’ I was just so scared. I was just praying.”
Dan Brady, 30, said he was working nearby when he heard “a pretty distinctive sound, like a thud.”
He said he ran outside and saw a group surrounding one of the children in the middle of the street.
“I kinda turned away,” Brady said. “You don’t expect something like this.”
A GoFundMe campaign had already raised more than $200,000 on Tuesday to aid Ruth Ann Blumenstein, a Tony Award-winning Broadway actress known by her stage name, Ruthie Ann Miles.
Another page was raising money for Lauren Lew and her family as well.
Transit advocates greeted the mayor with signs and chants outside the Park Slope YMCA Tuesday morning, calling for safer streets.
The intersection where Monday’s crash happened was the scene of one pedestrian fatality in 2016 and 10 traffic injuries since 2014, according to city data as of January 2018.
With Vincent Barone, Lauren Cook and Nicole Brown