Driver Kills Two Children, Ages 1 and 4, on Ninth Street in Park Slope

The location has a history of serious crashes, and is mere feet away from the Park Slope YMCA where Mayor de Blasio is driven to his morning workout each day.

A driver struck multiple pedestrians and killed two children on 9th Street in Park Slope this afternoon. Photo: Leah Finnegan/Twitter
A driver struck multiple pedestrians and killed two children on 9th Street in Park Slope this afternoon. Photo: Leah Finnegan/Twitter

A driver struck and killed two children, ages 1 and 4, on Ninth Street at Fifth Avenue in Park Slope this afternoon, according to police. At least one other person was injured in the crash. The driver is currently in NYPD custody at the scene of the collision.

Journalist Leah Finnegan tweeted photos from the scene showing a stroller under the rear wheels of a white Volvo sedan.

Police confirmed the deaths to Streetsblog. The third victim was a pregnant woman, according to the office of Borough President Eric Adams. She was rushed to the hospital, and her condition is unknown.

NYPD had no other information about the circumstances of the crash, and the identities of the victims and the driver have not been released.

Cutting east-west across Park Slope, Ninth Street functions as a neighborhood main street. Its mix of retail, with multiple subway and bus connections, makes it a crowded walking street.

A 2007 redesign added buffered, un-protected bike lanes, but the design is clearly inadequate. The street is wide and vulnerable to speeding, especially on the westbound side, where drivers travel downhill. The bike lane, meanwhile, is frequently blocked by double-parked vehicles, including Mayor de Blasio’s SUV caravan to the Park Slope YMCA.

In late February 2016, a hit-and-run driver struck and killed 41-year-old Bahtiyor Khamdamov at the same intersection as today’s crash.

Later that year, a driver critically injured a cyclist at the intersection of Sixth Avenue and Ninth Street.

The street is wide enough for curbside protected bike lanes on each side of the street, which would prevent speeding by narrowing the right-of-way for motor vehicles. But DOT has said that it won’t convert the buffered bike lanes to protected bike lanes because Ninth Street needs center turn pockets.

Tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m., residents and advocates plan to confront Mayor de Blasio at the Park Slope YMCA, which is mere feet away from the site of today’s crash, about how he plans to respond to the terrible loss of life on Ninth Street.

We’ll update this story as we get more information about the collision.

Correction: The post originally stated the victims were 3 and 5 years old, based on information from NYPD. Subsequent reports elsewhere give their ages as 1 and 4.

  • Vooch

    might be marty golden‘s twin

  • Vooch

    video above – it’s worse than you imagine

  • Vooch

    video evidence posted above says she is bald faced liar

  • Vooch

    still negligent homicide times 2 plus assault with a deadly weapon times 1

    plus look at her record she has run 5 red lights in last 12 months

  • Ken Dodd

    As others have pointed out both here and elsewhere, the pattern of traffic violations this scumbag has behind her – including many red light violations in a short space of time – should automatically cast serious doubt on her claim of a “medical episode.” Also, I cannot believe that photo of her tapping away on her phone on the stretcher. Witnesses said she appeared totally unphased by the accident and showed no concern for her victims. Why on earth did she even have her phone at that point? It should have been immediately seized as evidence by the NYPD – there is a strong likelihood in any atrocity like this that the driver was distracted beforehand, and smartphones are the #1 source of driver distraction.

    Of course, if we had anything even remotely like a competent, functioning police department in this city then they would have taken her phone for analysis as part of a major criminal investigation into the potential manslaughter of two children. Instead, we get the usual bullshit in which cops do their best to make excuses for a killer driver to the media and believe the first claim that comes out of the driver’s mouth. This is all in keeping with their unwritten policy of ignoring serious road crime because they don’t want to deal with the pandora’s box of actually treating these deaths as crimes. If they did, their workload would triple overnight, and the resulting crime stats would be a citywide scandal which reflected terribly on them. So they take any opportunity they can to brush aside clear cases of manslaughter and log them as tragic accidents.

    Of course, it goes without saying that if this POS had run over and killed two NYPD cops in the crosswalk (i.e. people the NYPD actually care about – not babies) then not only would she have been arrested on the spot but there’s a good chance they would have shot her dead.

  • Ken Dodd

    I have had yellow cab and livery drivers literally nudge my bike forward at a solid red because they wanted to edge into the crosswalk and were pissed that a cyclist was in their way.

  • Ken Dodd

    Give him a chance to somehow weave e-bikes into his statement. They’ll be working all night on that.

  • Hugh Shepard

    DOT cares more about left turn pockets than the lives of pedestrians and bicyclists. Wow. Way to go, shows your commitment to Vision Zero, DOT. Keep it up!

  • Larry Littlefield

    I don’t think any street design could have prevented this horror.

    Either it is strictly the fault of the driver, or the kind of horror inherent in motor vehicles.

    I think we have to look to vehicles that are unlikely to allow an incident like this to happen, vehicles that would either over-ride the driver or completely control the car.

    We have to be glad Google decided to start this process. It sort of says something about our culture that if it had in fact become possible, safety advocates weren’t pushing it like seat belts and air bags.

    One thing we need to do is transfer all the health care costs of motor vehicle crashes from health insurance to auto insurance, with crashes involving those with inadequate insurance assessed directly against the manufacturer and priced into the cars.

    With motor vehicles with vehicles control for safety assessed independently of other vehicles, to provide the right incentives.

  • Literally hit you? Report him for intentional hit (and then no doubt run). That’s a criminal act, same as if he got out and shoved you.

  • bggb

    While that is theoretically a good idea, you’d have to get the NYPD to give a shit.

  • Ken Dodd

    The NYPD does not care and I think that trying to get anywhere with a complaint like that would just cause me even more stress. I was once left hooked by a taxi speeding past me and making a turn on 1st Avenue, and it all happened right in view of a cop opposite the UN who came over, threatened to arrest me for knocking on the driver’s window, and told the cabbie to drive away. He then berated me for “cycling too fast” ( I was doing about 12mph) and when I said “so you’re saying you saw nothing wrong with what he did,” I was told “no – he had every right to make a turn.” Into my path. Almost killing me. This is the level of institutional stupidity we’re dealing with in the NYPD.

  • Jesse

    Why don’t you respond to Doug above?

  • MatthewEH

    Dunno about shooting the motorist dead, but I sympathize with where you’re coming from emotionally.

  • Vooch


    My thoughts are

    1) Engineering does reduce traffic violence. Existing 9th street design is simply begging for reckless driving.

    2) Widesoread Pedestruan Zones are long overdue in NYC.

  • qrt145

    You can complain to the TLC. They have a fairly efficient process which typically results in fining the driver a couple hundred dollars and a mark on his record. Maybe it’s not as just as prosecuting the criminal assault, but it’s something…

  • reasonableexplanation

    Easy, the point is not to assume your pet issue caused this incident.

    The initial article spent a good amount of time discussing street design, and many people harped on how the driver must have been speeding, how we need everything from pedestrian islands, to wider bike lanes, etc…

    Then we got some info saying that the person was stopped at an intersection and creeped forward until they hit the gas, suggesting this had nothing to do with street design, and everything to do with the driver. At this point, at least some were arguing that this explanation was BS, and that judging by the damage there’s no way this person wasn’t speeding.

    Now we have the video, where it clearly shows this person, was in fact initially stopped, and creeping forward, but instead of pedal confusion, probably just not paying attention or texting or something. We also have info showing that the driver had no business having a valid license based on the number of violations they racked up.

    No street design can save you when a driver is doing what happened here. This has nothing to do with how 5th and 9th are laid out, and everything to do with failing to take this dangerous driver off of the road.

  • reasonableexplanation

    I am saddened that you consider that being in support of the majority, but not all of the issues streetsblog advocates for is being a troll.

    If you demand ideological purity, you want have as many supporters on your side as you need to make the streets safer for all.

  • carma

    i agree. a street redesign would not have prevented this. clearly it looks as if the driver was incapacitated seeing it was a complete disregard of even slowing down even though it was obvious peds were in the crosswalk.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Incapacitated or what I don’t know. The video is incomprehensible. It almost seems as if she did it on purpose.

  • Joe R.

    No, they would have shot the motorist dead. Not intentionally, but they would have said something like “we thought she was going for a gun” when she was taking out her ID.

  • vnm

    I wouldn’t dismiss street design so quickly. If the roadway engineering contributes to a speedway free-for-all type of atmosphere, where’s it’s encouraged to creep into crosswalks during a red phase and gun the accelerator the instant a light goes green, it’s a problem that can be tackled.

  • MatthewEH

    The woman’s driving record alone is a crystal-clear indicator she had no business being behind the wheel of a car. Absolutely none.

  • The ideal is to have all automated vehicles, with no human involved at all.

    The next best thing is to have technology limiting the harm that humans can do, by means of kill switches that disable the accellerator when the light is not green, and also speed governors that allow the car to go no faster than the speed limit. Unfortunately, the barriers to this are not so much technological as ideological, as drivers would complain about these measures, even though they are preventing only improper and illegal acts — thus proving the notion that drivers are by nature sociopaths.

  • Philadelphia and Washington have plenty of long, straight streets. But the drivers there don’t stop ahead of the stopping line and within the crosswalks.

    It’s not an engineering issue. It’s a matter entirely of enforcement, or lack thereof, and of the culture that this non-enforcement has allowed to develop.

  • walks bikes drives

    He posted the video 🙂

  • walks bikes drives

    I love that they were happy to inform you…

  • strangemonkey

    The mayor is shameful.

  • strangemonkey


  • strangemonkey

    Welcome to NYC, there are NO consequences for reckless driving.


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