MIDWOOD, Brooklyn (PIX11) — Police continued to search Thursday for the hit-and-run driver who plowed into four children and their mother at a school bus stop in Brooklyn on Wednesday afternoon.
Eyewitnesses to the tragedy urged the driver to turn him- or herself in following a crash that they described as horrific and shocking.
Karl Stossel lives at the intersection of New York Avenue and Avenue J, where the hit-and-run collision took place just before 5 p.m. on Wednesday. He was in his home at the time.
“I heard a loud bang, and brakes,” he said, recounting the crash from the stoop in front of his row house, and pointing to the intersection.
“There was a big accident there,” he said, holding back tears. “And when I looked, I saw two people under the bus.”
He saw two of the four children who got hit by a white Mercedes sedan, along with their mother. The impact pushed all five victims under the school bus, from which the mother had just picked up two of her four kids.
“When I looked at the wheels of the bus,” Stossel continued, “the wheels are humongous. That would crush anybody.”
The NYPD said that its officers had attempted to make a traffic stop of the 2016 Mercedes at the intersection of Flatbush Ave nue and Avenue J, two-and-a-half blocks away from where the crash happened. The Mercedes driver sped away from officers, running through a stop sign, and ignoring the flashing lights and extended stop signs on the bus, according to police.
They said that the car drove right into the 41-year-old mother, who was pushing a stroller at the time, and had had all of her children, ages 1, 3, 5, and 8, with her.
Split seconds after the car made impact, the mother screamed, according to witnesses.
“‘Help me! Help me and my kids!'” a woman who’d witnessed the crash but didn’t want to be identified, said the mom yelled.
“Jesus,” she continued, “at that moment, you just have to pray.”
Karl Stossel, the other eyewitness, said that he’d expected the worst, based on what he’d seen.
“I thought they had died,” he said.
It had appeared to be that serious, according to witnesses like him, but medics were able to transport the mother and children to Maimonides Medical Center in stable condition. The mother was apparently still there on Thursday, while at least three of the children had been released from the hospital.
The driver drove about 14 blocks away from the crash scene, to Glenwood Road and East 24th Street, where they abandoned the vehicle.
Because police have been able to do a thorough search on it, witnesses had one simple message for whoever had been in the Mercedes, and had committed the crime.
“Turn yourself in,” Stossel said, “because it’s just gonna be a matter of time before they find you.”