A young Chassidic couple expecting their first child was killed in a horrific hit and run car accident in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn early this past Sunday. The parents, Raizy and Nachman Glauber, both 21, were on their way to Long Island College Hospital in Cobble Hill after midnight Sunday when the livery cab they were riding in was hit by a BMW sedan. The parents were taken to different hospitals, where they were each pronounced dead, while the baby boy was delivered prematurely and intubated, and was said to be in serious condition.
But on Monday, the newborn was pronounced dead at Bellevue Hospital Center, a police spokesman said. A spokesman for the Williamsburg Chassidic community, Isaac Abraham, said that the baby’s remains were to be taken to the medical examiner’s office, following which the newborn was to be named, circumcised, and buried with his parents.
“We in the community are going to demand that the prosecution charge these cowards with triple homicide, and nothing less,” Abraham asserted, referring to the driver of the BMW, who abandoned his vehicle and fled on foot along with his passenger.
He said the child’s initial survival Sunday had given hope that the dead parents had left behind something the community could cling to. “Even that has been taken away,” Abraham said. “This couple leaves nothing behind.”
When the crash happened, Mrs. Glauber was 7 months pregnant, and she was rushing to seek medical attention because she could no longer feel the baby, a family member said.
She and her husband were newlyweds, married in January 2012, looking forward to the joy of having their first child. The pair was riding in the back of the black 2008 Toyota Camry cab heading west on Wilson St. when a gray 2010 BMW sedan speeding north slammed into them at about 12:30 a.m., cops said. It was unclear if the doomed couple’s cabbie braked for the stop sign at the intersection. The BMW driver had no stop sign on Kent Ave., a main thoroughfare.
The couple’s family was understandably distraught. “G-d is punishing me for my sins by taking away my daughter,” Raizel Glauber’s father, Yitzchak Silberstein, said in Yiddish at the couple’s funeral Sunday afternoon, before the infant’s death. “Nobody knows how this could happen.”
The driver of the livery cab, Pedro Nunez, 32, survived the crash. “I don’t remember anything,” said Nunez at his home in Brooklyn after he was released from Bellevue Hospital. Nunez, who was dazed and sedated after treatment for chest bruises, could not recall whether he ran a stop sign or if the Glaubers had been wearing seatbelts. “They told me it was a hit and run. There’s an investigation,” he said.
The police have since identified the hit and run driver as 44-year-old Julio Acevedo, who has a serious criminal record. Acevedo served 10 years in state prison on a 1989 manslaughter conviction, based on his shooting a man to death. He was also arrested just recently on a charge of Driving While Intoxicated. At press time, Acevedo had not yet been arrested; a report in the Daily News, based on a phone conversation with the suspect, stated that he was intending to turn himself in to the police, but was first trying to obtain an attorney.
Separately, the woman who had co-signed the BMW’s lease, 29-year old Takia Walker of the Bronx, has been charged with insurance fraud. Authorities say she acquired the car under false pretense and allowed a third party to drive the vehicle without notifying the insurance company.
Hundreds of Orthodox Jewish mourners packed the streets outside the KhalYetev Lev synagogue for a funeral for both victims Sunday afternoon.
“It’s a great tragedy for the community,” Rabbi Zalman LeibTeitelbaum, the Williamsburg Satmar Rebbe, told teary-eyed attendees. “We have to hold on together and see what we can do to make things better. This is a very, very big tragedy.”