Eyes on the Street: Brooklyn Hit-and-Run Aftermath at 4th Ave and Degraw

An officer from the 78th Precinct inspects the vehicle on Degraw Street after its driver fled yesterday morning. Photo: Mike Donohue
After the driver fled the scene, a 78th Precinct officer inspects a car on Degraw Street. Photo: Mike Donohue

Reader Mike Donohue sends this eyewitness account of a driver who fled the scene of a crash in Park Slope Sunday morning.

At about 9:45 a.m., Donohue was on his bike, stopped at a red light on Degraw Street at Fourth Avenue. When the light turned green for traffic on Degraw, a driver heading north on Fourth Avenue ran the light and made a high-speed left turn onto Degraw, crashing into a road construction site and hitting a parked car. With airbags deployed and steam rising from the engine, Donohue says the driver got out “and started slowly jogging away.”

A group of people, including Donohue and members of the construction crew, began following the driver before he disappeared near the Wyckoff Gardens housing complex at Third Avenue and Baltic Street. Donohue called 911 while trailing the suspect before returning to the crash scene to snap a photo.

“I’m pretty sure criminality is suspected,” Donohue said. “At one point, the cops told me that he’d run over a little girl, and they were going to do everything they could to catch the guy.”

NYPD’s press office did not immediately have any information on the crash, and could not confirm that a child was injured. FDNY said it responded to a call at 9:52 a.m. of a pedestrian struck on Fourth Avenue at Union Street, two blocks south of Degraw. One person was transported to Methodist Hospital, but the fire department did not have information available on the victim’s age or condition.

Update (Thursday, October 2): 78th Precinct community council chair N. Wayne Bailey told Streetsblog that at the council’s meeting on Tuesday, officers said the crash resulted in some property damage but no injuries, and that they did not make any comments about a little girl being struck. NYPD continues to search for the driver.

  • Mike

    I was the witness — there’s another part to this. Before entering Wyckoff Gardens, the driver attempted a carjacking. A man was washing his car at Third and Baltic, and the driver reached into his belt as if he had a gun and demanded the keys. The man who had been washing the car hid behind his own car, while the construction crew and I took cover. I didn’t see a gun, but I did see the reaching for a gun motion clearly enough to move away quickly. The driver gave up on the carjacking fairly quickly (sirens could be heard at this point) and ran into a building.

  • datbeezy

    We know this story is false because no bicyclist is ever stopped at a red light.

    Hahah guffaw, pat me on the back please

  • Eric McClure

    Thanks for all you did, Mike!

  • TeeDub

    Nice work, MikeD

  • Thanks for this. I now understand why there was a police car rushing northbound on 4th avenue as I cycled up 7th St to church on Sunday morning, just after this crash.

    Broader message: New Yorkers, we know you’re going to do stupid and sometimes negligent things sometimes. But, please, stop magnifying their effect by doing so many of them in cars.

    Guns don’t help to make your bad choices better, either, but cars would be good to leave out of your moments of madness as well.

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