Two young pedestrians died a 3 adults were injured after being hit by a reckless driver in Brooklyn, NYC, on Monday afternoon. 44 year Dorothy Burns was behind the wheel of her Volvo Sedan when she slowly drove through a red light and drove into pedestrians crossing the road at the intersection of Ninth Street and Fifth Ave in Park Slope (see Google Map picture for location). Then she crashed into another car.
A 20-month-old boy, Joshua Lew, and a 4 year old girl, Abigaeil Blumenstein, were killed in the accident. Their mothers, 34-year-old Ruthie Ann Blumenstein and 33-year-old Lauren Lew were both hospitalized. Ruthie Ann Blumenstein, a talented Broadway actress also known as Ruthie Ann Miles, is pregnant. She is still in critical condition . A male pedestrian was also hospitalized after being injured in the accident.
Disturbing videos of the accident show the driver slowly running the red light and ten picking up speed and almost intentionally plowing into pedestrians before continuing and crashing into another car.
Witnesses said they saw the driver throwing her head back before accelerating and plowing into the pedestrians which maybe a sign that she suffered a seizure.
On Tuesday the NYPD announced that they had taken the driving license of Dorothy Burns, According to them, Burns was suffering from various medical conditions including multiple sceloris and may not have been fit to drive. Neighbors told the NY Daily News they were worried about her continuing to drive as they had learned that she suffered a few strokes and a heart attack within the last year.
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzales said the woman probably suffered a seizure. However if authorities can prove that the woman was driving against the orders of a doctor she is facing manslaughter charges.
Additionally it is still not clear if the woman really suffered a medical condition or if she simply recklessly drove into the pedestrians. According to the Post she told police she was “creeping up a bit at the intersection in anticipation of the red light changing and then accidentally hit the accelerator while the moms and kids were in the crosswalk.” The car driven by Dorothy Burns was caught 4 times running red light and four time speeding over the last 4 years.
On Wednesday mornings, Park Slope residents, organized an impromptu rally to ask Mayor de Blasio to make make Ninth Street safer.
Read more in Street Blog