PARK SLOPE, Brooklyn — The street where two children died and three people, including a pregnant mother, were injured in a crash this week will be redesigned, the NYC Department of Transportation said Friday.
Abigail Blumenstein, 4, and Joshua Lew, 1, were killed when police say driver Dorothy Bruns plowed into pedestrians at Ninth Street and Fifth Avenue in Park Slope Monday afternoon.
Both of the children’s parents, and a fifth victim, were injured. Abigail’s pregnant mother, Tony Award-winning actress Ruthie Ann Blumenstein, who goes by the stage name Ruthie Ann Miles, was critically hurt. Representatives on Thursday said she is out of the ICU and her unborn child survived.
Calls for safer street in the immediate aftermath of the crash were addressed at a Department of Transportation budget hearing that same day.
“We are all mourning this heartbreaking loss and will be taking action,” Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said at the hearing. “This terrible crash is reminder that even after four straight years of declining roadway fatalities under Vision Zero, our work is far from done.”
Planning and engineering experts have been directed to analyze and redesign the Ninth Street corridor, Trottenberg said. This will include pedestrian safety additions, such as protected bike lanes.
A more detailed plan is expected in the coming weeks. It will then be presented to local residents, businesses and the community board in April to gather feedback, according to Trottenberg.
The plan will be implemented as soon as weather permits, Trottenberg said.
Separately, Mayor Bill de Blasio has set out to address legal loopholes that allow “deadly drivers” on the roads, Trottenberg said.
In the aftermath of the deadly crash, protestors descended on de Blasio as he arrived at his Park Slope gym demanding safer streets, and City Councilman Brad Lander advocated for taking Bruns’ license away.
Published reports show the driver of Bruns’ Volvo had been cited for speeding through a school zone four times and running red lights before Monday’s crash. Police confirmed Wednesday her license has since been suspended by the DMV.
Bruns has claimed she suffered a seizure at the time of the deadly incident. No arrests have been made in the case.