Prosecutors did not immediately charge a female motorist after she killed two children and sent two women — one pregnant — and a man to the hospital with injuries when she plowed her vehicle into the victims while they crossed Ninth Street at Fifth Avenue in Park Slope on Monday afternoon.
“This very tragic incident is under active investigation and we’re looking into all aspects of this case,” said a spokesman for District Attorney Eric Gonzalez.
Seizures struck the driver at the time of the deadly crash, according to a law-enforcement source, who said the medical condition is investigators’ best explanation for the carnage.
The woman remained emotionless after the collision that claimed the lives of the 1-year-old boy and 4-year-old girl, firing off text messages on her phone as paramedics loaded her into an ambulance, witnesses claimed.
“She had no emotion, no emotion at all,” said bystander Jennifer Muniz, as she waited to speak with investigators following the horrific crash.
The driver was behind the wheel of a white Volvo sedan heading downhill on Ninth Street towards Fifth Avenue at 12:41 pm, when she allegedly ran a red light and slammed into the adults and children, according to witnesses.
Muniz claimed the motorist approached the intersection slowly, well after the light turned red, and then averted her eyes before accelerating into the victims making their way through the crosswalk.
“She just threw her head back, like she didn’t want to see what she was about to do,” said the eyewitness, who claimed she was about to cross the same intersection with a friend when the collision occurred.
The driver continued down Ninth Street towards Fourth Avenue following the crash, dragging one of the kids beneath her sedan, before colliding with a parked car halfway down the block, Muniz said.
Rescuers found the children dead at the scene, according to a Police Department spokesman, who said paramedics rushed the two women and man to Methodist Hospital in critical, but non-life-threatening, condition.
A mangled baby stroller lay beneath the Volvo’s right-rear wheel following the crash, which left a visible trail of gore on the road beside a sneaker.
Bystanders, meanwhile, rushed to the wounded adults’ and dying children’s aid, according to Muniz.
“Everybody was crying, yelling, screaming,” she recounted. “It looked like Armageddon.”
Another witness said she was working on the second floor of a gym that overlooks the intersection when she spotted bodies littering the street below and ran to the scene fearing someone she knew was hurt.
And upon her arrival, the good Samaritan said she was shocked to find her aunt — who lives in Red Hook — there, not as a victim, but comforting the pregnant woman as she lay injured in the street.
“The only person moving was the lady trying to get up to check on her child, and my aunt was telling her ‘please stay down, please stay down, please stay down,’ ” said Desireé Williams of her aunt, June Clark-Smith.
The pregnant woman with a wounded leg was covered in blood and drifting in and out of consciousness, according to Clark-Smith, who described the victim as hysterical with fear.
“She was crying, scared, everything. She was trying to get up,” said Clark-Smith. “She was like, ‘Oh god,’ you know?”
Surveillance footage the Brooklyn Paper obtained from a nearby insurance broker shows the 44-year-old driver — a Staten Island resident, according to reports — approach the intersection as the light turned red, then slowly inch forward as pedestrians and vehicles began to cross Ninth Street before speeding into the women and children during a break in traffic, sending their bodies flying to the pavement.
Numerous traffic-watchdog and cyclist-advocacy groups demanded Mayor DeBlasio improve safety on Ninth Street hours after the crash, with some organizing a rally at 8:30 am on Tuesday outside the nearby YMCA, where Hizzoner works out each morning.
In 2016, a motorist fatally struck a 41-year-old man at the intersection of Ninth Street and Fifth Avenue, where 33 others have suffered traffic-related injuries since 2010, according to data from the city’s Vision Zero initiative.
©2018 Community News Group
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