Park Slope driver had medical emergency days before crash that killed two kids; criminal probe focuses on her ill health
The woman who fatally plowed into two kids in Park Slope earlier this month might have been taken off the road in September — if a Highway Safety cop had filed the right paperwork.
Dorothy Bruns, who has Multiple Sclerosis, was behind the wheel of a Volvo that struck a pedestrian in Long Island City six months ago and sped off, sources said.
The accident could have prompted detectives to take a closer look at Bruns' medical condition and driving record, if they had been alerted.
Bruns hit Brandy Williams, 28, who told police she was crossing a street near the Queensbridge Houses when she was struck by a gray sedan that ran over her foot and hurt her wrist on Sept. 13, sources said.
Cops have since determined that Bruns, 44, was the driver.
Investigators have also concluded that a highway safety sergeant failed to properly document the accident — which meant it didn’t go to detectives for a closer look, as it should have, police sources said.
An accident report was written by housing bureau cops and forwarded to the 114th precinct, where it was reviewed by the highway safety sergeant, Cynthia Rodriguez, who is responsible for documenting and reviewing accidents and traffic issues.
She should have filed a report known as a “61”, the paperwork necessary to spark a detective squad investigation, sources said.
Rodriguez, 40, has since been stripped of all traffic duties. She's doing patrols in a squad car on full duty, sources said.
The oversight left a dangerous motorist with a history of driving infractions free from police scrutiny — who also had a medical condition that apparently impaired her ability to safely operate a vehicle.
After the Queens accident, Williams told cops that when she tried to get the driver’s information,the woman took off.
Williams, of Staten Island, was treated at Mount Sinai Queens hospital and released.
Months later, on March 5, Bruns struck and killed 4-year-old Abigail Blumenstein and 1-year-old Joshua Lew in Park Slope. She also injured their mothers, one of whom is 7-months-pregnant.
Bruns, authorities said, had a seizure when she barreled through the intersection at Ninth St. and Fifth Ave. as Abigail and Joshua were crossing with their mothers, Lauren Lew and Broadway actress Ruthie Ann Blumenstein.
Her Volvo dragged a stroller more than 350 feet and rammed into a parked car.
The deaths shocked New Yorkers, and drew a throng of mourners to the site, including Mayor de Blasio and his wife Chirlane McCray.
De Blasio said Bruns should be in jail.
“I wish she was under arrest right now,” the mayor, a Park Slope homeowner, said at the time.
“It’s just terrible what happened to these children and it should never happen again.”
Bruns’ license was suspended pending a medical review a day after the crash.
The NYPD reviewed her driving record and discovered the Queens incident, officials said.
After the fatalities, police realized that a 61 was not prepared and the case was referred to the Internal Affairs Bureau, which gave it to a borough investigations team.
“We are aware of the incident,” said J. Peter Donald, an NYPD spokesman. “We are looking into the incident and how it was documented,” he added.
Bruns told police she didn’t realize she’d hit Williams, sources said.
Sergeants Benevolent Association president Ed Mullins, the head of Rodriguez’s union, said even if the sergeant had filed the right paperwork, Bruns likely wouldn't have been taken off the streets.
“This is overreaction from the department six months later,” Mullins said.
“Had she been caught two blocks later it would have been nothing more than a criminal court summons. Even if they arrested her two months later, it would have been the same.”
According to Bruns' CarFax Vehicle History report, obtained by the Daily News, her Volvo was repaired in August, before the Queens incident
The rear right side of the vehicle was damaged, although it was not clear what happened.
The airbag did deploy, the report said.
News of Bruns’ Queens hit-and-run emerged as de Blasio joined elected officials, crash survivors and victims’ families on the steps of City Hall on Thursday to urge Albany to expand the city's school zone speed enforcement camera program.
Bruns’ vehicle racked up eight traffic-camera-enforced violations, for running red lights and speeding in school zones, since the summer of 2016.