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Teen arrested in delivery man’s death

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Police have arrested a teenage motorist they say killed a 49-year-old Chinese food delivery man following a Thursday night hit-and-run on Gerritsen Avenue — the second fatal crash to take place in southern Brooklyn this week.

Ju Xiang Chen, who worked for the Knapp Lucky Star Chinese food restaurant on Knapp Street, was nearing Avenue V at 8:30 pm when Kathryn Foris, 18, allegedly shot through a red light and slammed her Nissan Altima into Chen’s moped.

Witness Vlad Levinovsky, 26, was so close to the accident that he was literally hit with debris.

“She was going south on Gerritsen, I was going east on Avenue V, and he was [heading in the opposite direction],” Levinovsky recalled. “I had a green light, and, if I had a green light, he did too, so she definitely ran a red light. [Chen] ended up on the hood, but she just kept driving, dragging him for almost a block.”

Levinovsky said another motorist tried to cut Foris off, but the 18-year-old wouldn’t stop.

“She just hit that car and took off,” explained Levinovsky, who recognized Chen as the kindly Lucky Star employee who made frequent deliveries to his E. 35th Street apartment. “[Chen] had a wife and kid back in his country. He was a great guy and didn’t bother anybody. He just kept to himself.”

Paramedics rushed Chen to the New York Community Hospital, where he succumbed to his wounds.

Foris was taken into police custody for questioning on Thursday night after cops found her license plate near Chen’s broken moped. She was charged with leaving the scene of an accident later that night.

Thursday’s accident was the second hit-and-run to take place in two days.

On Wednesday, 41-year-old Paul Griffin was arrested for allegedly barreling into a 14-year-old boy on Flatlands Avenue — striking him down just paces from the teen’s home.

Witnesses claim Griffin slammed his red Ford Ecoline van into Davonte Jeffers as the teen crossed between E. 54th and E. 55th streets at 7:30 pm. Jeffers, who lived around the corner on E. 54th Street, was heading to a local grocery on an errand for his mother, his friends told reporters.

Paramedics rushed Jeffers to Kings County Hospital, where he died of his injuries.

Saeed Nagi, who manages the Flatland Avenue grocery Jeffers was heading to, heard the nearby accident.

“I thought a car hit another car, so I ran out and saw him on the street,“ Nagi said. “He wasn’t bleeding, but he wasn’t breathing. A nurse came about two minutes after I came out and gave him CPR. She was counting [out her compressions], talking on the phone to 911, and crying, but it wasn’t enough.”

Jeffers mother came into Nagi’s store about 10 minutes later — not knowing what happened to her boy, Nagi remembered.

“She came in looking for him,” Nagi said. “I told her what [the kid hit in the street] was wearing — blue jeans and a brown hoody — and she started crying right away.”

Griffin, a resident of Canarsie, sped off after hitting Jeffers, but cops found him in his van on Avenue I near E. 55th Street — about a block away — a short time later, charging him with leaving the scene

of an accident and driving without a license.

Reach reporter Colin MIxson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4514.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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