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Driver in fatal Park Slope crash found dead

Dorothy Bruns was facing manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide charges in the traffic deaths of two children.

Dorothy Bruns, seen in Brooklyn Supreme Court on

Dorothy Bruns, seen in Brooklyn Supreme Court on May 4, was found dead Tuesday, a police source said. Bruns was being prosecuted in the traffic deaths of two children in Park Slope earlier this year. Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

The woman charged in a Park Slope crash that killed two young children and injured two women was found dead on Tuesday of an apparent suicide, police said.

Dorothy Bruns, 44, was found by a friend inside her Staten Island home about 5 p.m., lying on her bed with antidepressant pills nearby, a police source said. A note saying that she was sorry and couldn't "do this anymore" was found as well, the source said.

Bruns was facing several charges, including two counts each of second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide, after she allegedly blew through the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Ninth Street on March 5, killing 4-year-old Abigail Blumenstein and 1-year-old Joshua Lew, who was in a stroller that was dragged halfway down the block by her car.

The children's mothers, 33-year-old Lauren Lew and 34-year-old Ruth Ann Blumenstein, a then-pregnant Tony-award winning actress better known by her stage name Ruthie Ann Miles, also were injured in the crash. Blumenstein later lost her unborn child.

Following the crash, prosecutors have said that witnesses recounted Bruns was twitching and appeared to be foaming at the mouth, and later at the hospital she suffered a seizure. Prosecutors also recounted her medical and driving history (including that she had been tested for epilepsy but the results were inconclusive) and said that she had been told by doctors not to drive.

Bruns’ vehicle, a white Volvo, had received a dozen parking and camera violations since July 2016, according to city summons data. The violations included four citations for failing to stop at a red light — three in Brooklyn and one in Queens — and another four for speeding in a school zone — one in Staten Island, one in Queens and two in Brooklyn, NYPD Chief of Transportation Thomas Chan has said.

The fatal crash sparked calls for traffic safety initiatives in the Park Slope neighborhood. A redesign of Ninth Street followed, with protected bicycle lanes on both sides of Ninth Street for nearly one mile as well as new pedestrian buffers and loading restrictions in an attempt to limit double parking.


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