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Park Slope vigil mourns 2 children killed in crash

Many people brought flowers, candles and other items to add to the memorial.

A memorial in Park Slope for two children

A memorial in Park Slope for two children hit and killed by a car near the corner of Ninth Street and Fifth Avenue continues to grow on Tuesday, March 6, 2018. Photo Credit: Jeff Bachner

Members of the Park Slope community tearfully gathered Tuesday night for a vigil held for two young children who were fatally struck by a car on Monday.

Roughly 40 people left stuffed animals, lit candles and prayed near the corner of Fifth Avenue and Ninth Street, where the lives of Josh Lew, 1, and Abigail Blumenstein, 4, were tragically cut short. It’s also now the site of a growing memorial paying homage to the children.

Their mothers, identified by a police source as Lauren Lew and Ruth Ann Blumenstein, respectively, remained hospitalized in stable condition Tuesday. A third adult who was struck, a 46-year-old man, was treated for minor injuries, according to police.

Many people brought flowers, candles and other items to add to the memorial.

Sophie Berreby, a voice therapist who lives three blocks away, brought her 7-year-old son Hector.

“Yesterday I walked by here around 2 [p.m.] and didn’t know what was going on. Then hour after hour, I kept hearing more and more about this terrible accident,” she said. “We always walk across this intersection and know how dangerous it is.”

Berreby said she hopes that seeing the community come together is a comfort to the families.

Midwood resident Helen Ross, 59, was in the neighborhood for a doctor’s appointment and went to a store to get a Snoopy toy for the memorial.

“It breaks your heart when an accident like this happens. It’s heart-wrenching,” she said. “It shows life can change in one day.”

The Park Slope community has expressed shock in the wake of the deadly crash, which happened around 12:40 p.m. Monday.

Sara Ng, 44, owns the salon next door to where Blumenstein lives. She described Abigail, who would stop by and say hello with her mother frequently, as “very cute.”

“Abigail was very adorable. She always came in and played with me,” Ng said. “They are very nice people, very down to earth.”

Borough President Eric Adams visited the site of the collision Tuesday morning and placed flowers at the memorial. Transportation advocates, meanwhile, rallied outside of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Park Slope gym and demanded a redesign of Ninth Street to improve pedestrian safety.

During the evening vigil, City Councilman Brad Lander urged attendees to get involved and make their voices heard, especially when it comes to the mayor’s Vision Zero traffic safety initiative.

“We need a Compstat for reckless drivers,” he said, referencing the NYPD’s data program that track crime in the city. “I wish we didn’t need a movement like this to save children’s lives, but we have to work together . . . We have a long way to go.”

At nearby Greenwood Baptist Church, about 100 people gathered for an evening prayer vigil that was both solemn and hopeful. The congregants gathered in small groups, held hands and prayed for both families.

The driver accused in the crash, identified by a source as 44-year-old Dorothy Bruns, told police she had a medical episode and she has not been charged as of Tuesday evening, officials said. A law enforcement source said on Tuesday that Bruns suffers from seizures.

With Ivan Pereira and Alison Fox


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