The children of two women with Hawaii ties were killed in a horrific traffic incident in New York that one witness described as “something you see in a horror movie.”
According to the New York Daily News, Tony Award-winning actress Ruthie Ann Blumenstein, 34, a graduate of Kaimuki High School who performs as Ruthie Ann Miles, and Lauren Lew, 33, whose father lives in Hawaii, were walking with their children at the intersection of Ninth Street and Fifth Avenue in Park Slope when a car driven by a 44-year-old Staten Island woman allegedly ran a red light and struck them at 12:40 p.m. today.
Witnesses said the car dragged the stroller carrying Lew’s 1-year-old son Joshua for a block before it crashed into another car.
Joshua Lew and Blumenstein’s 4-year-old daughter Abigail were transported to New York-Presbyterian Methodist Brooklyn Hospital, where they both died. Blumenstein and Lew were also hospitalized, Blumenstein reportedly in critical condition.
The Daily News and New York Post reported that Blumenstein was pregnant.
Blumenstein won the 2015 Tony Award for best featured actress in a musical for her performance as Lady Thiang in “The King and I.” She was the second actress of Asian descent to win a Tony, following Lea Salonga (“Miss Saigon”) in 1991.
Police said the driver, identified as Dorothy Bruns, crashed into several cars and was stopped by witnesses. On Tuesday, police said the driver had a “medical episode” but declined to specify that condition. They said there was no indication that she tried to flee the scene as had been initially reported.
The 44-year-old Volvo driver was transported to the NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn in stable condition.
Police said it’s unclear what the circumstances are at this time on why the driver lost control of the vehicle at the time of the crash.
There are no arrests at this time.
Blumenstein graduated from Kaimuki High School and studied theatre at Southern Oregon University before she moved to New York City in 2005 to attend graduate school.
On her Facebook page in February, Blumenstein indicated she was seven months pregnant.
Two GoFundMe accounts have been created to assist both Blumenstein and Lew.
The Daily News reported that Lew’s father, Hawaii resident William Durston, was flying to New York to be with his daughter.
Reporter Rosemarie Bernardo contributed to this report.