Broadway star's daughter, friend's son killed after being hit by car in Brooklyn

Tuesday, March 6, 2018
BROOKLYN (WPVI) -- The 4-year-old daughter of a Tony-award winning actress and the 1-year-old son of her friend were killed when a driver apparently lost control of her vehicle and slammed into them as they crossed a Brooklyn street Monday afternoon.

WABC-TV reports, Broadway star Ruthie Ann Blumenstein, who goes by the stage name Ruthie Ann Miles and won a Tony for her role as Lady Thiang in a revival of the "King and I," was injured in the accident in Brooklyn's Park Slope section. Her daughter Abigail was killed.

Blumenstein, who is pregnant, was walking with friend Lauren Lew, who had 1-year-old Joshua in a stroller. He died, and Lew was also injured.

The incident happened at 9th Street and Fifth Avenue around 12:30 p.m.

"We do not exactly know what happened yet, there is a full investigation underway," Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "But I will state the obvious. This loss of life is tragic, painful for all of us, particularly those of us who are parents."

After striking the victims, police say the driver -- a 44-year-old woman from Staten Island -- crossed into an oncoming lane and crashed into a parked vehicle. She was questioned by police at the scene, taken into custody and transported to a nearby hospital for evaluation.

The scene where multiple people, including children, were struck in Brooklyn on Monday, March 5, 2018.

Leah Finnegan/Twitter

She is believed to have had a seizure, according to law enforcement, and investigators are now looking at her medical records to determine if she should have been driving in the first place. She reportedly has a history of medical problems, and following the crash, she was disoriented and could not recall the incident. Drug and alcohol tests were negative.

No charges have been filed, although the final determination will be made by the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office.

"Everybody is like, 'Stop, stop,'" witness Jennifer Muniz said. "Everybody yelling, people running crossing the street screaming, crying, call 911. People trying to cover the baby to stop her from bleeding."

Jessica Sierra immediately ran to help the little girl.
"I ran to her, a bunch of people ran to the mom," she said. "And then I didn't even realize there was another baby down the block."

Meanwhile, others tended to the mothers, who were laying helpless in the middle of the street.

"All she kept saying was, 'My baby, my baby,' and she kept on trying to get up," witness De'sir'ee Williams said.

Witnesses said it was a devastating scene.

"She did get to her knees, but then she dropped back down because she had a leg injury," witness June Clark Smith Said. "Because when the ambulance finally got here, her head was bleeding."

A 46-year-old man was also struck by the car and was expected to survive.
Broadway stars took to social media to express sympathy.

Actresses Audra McDonald and Sutton Foster sent out links for a GoFundMe page raising money for the family. Miranda sent out a similar link for Lew.


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