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Cops: Sleepy senior mows down four on 15th Street

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A drowsy senior citizen driver slammed into a group of people standing outside the Park Slope Armory at the corner of Eighth Avenue and 15th Street on April 15 — leaving four hospitalized.

Horrified witnesses said the grey sport utility vehicle was barreling down 15th Street from Bartel Pritchard Square at 4:15 pm when the driver — a man in his mid-sixties — lost control of the wheel.

“The SUV hit a car up the block, ended up on the sidewalk and kept going,” said Shadi Sarsor, an employee from the nearby Royal Supermarket. “It ran over the bus stop sign, just missing a bunch of kids crossing the street.”

The SUV charged across Eighth Avenue and slammed into four adults — residents of the Park Slope Women’s Shelter — before getting jammed between a tree and a light pole.

Sarsor and other witnesses rushed over and found the four victims sprawled out on the concrete.

“They were conscious, but they weren’t moving,” he said. “[The driver] was stunned. He said he didn’t know what happened, like he hadn’t absorbed it yet.”

Two of the victims were rushed to nearby New York Methodist Hospital on Seventh Avenue and Sixth Street, FDNY officials said. Two others were taken to Lutheran Medical Center in Sunset Park.

Police say injuries were light.

“It looks like one of them may have had a broken leg, but that was it,” a cop close to the investigation said.

But things could have been much worse: Droves of school-age children have been flocking to the armory ever since the YMCA opened a recreation center inside the 114-year-old former regimental drill facility a year ago following a $16-million renovation. The rec center was open at the time of the accident.

The investigation into the accident was continuing, but police sources say the driver may have nodded off just before the carnage began.

“[The driver] either passed out or fell asleep,” a police source said.

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Reader Feedback

SpandexBallet from Brooklyn says:
Good thing that driver wasn't on a bicycle. It would have been absolute carnage.
April 15, 2011, 9:17 pm
Dave from Clinton Hill says:
Mid sixties is hardly a "senior" so it's hard to blame this on the guy's age. Very glad no one was seriously injured.
April 15, 2011, 9:27 pm
trans alt from bike nation says:
Yes, cars will be banned in NYC.
April 15, 2011, 9:29 pm
Mike says:
Where's "Seniors for Safety" when you really need them?
April 15, 2011, 9:29 pm
across the street from park slope says:
they need to pu speed bumps on 15th street like they have on other streets in the slope. people go flying down 15th and its dangerous....
April 15, 2011, 10:37 pm
pete from park slope says:
Hahaha he hit some of those bums at the armory theyere always harrasing everyone anyway
April 16, 2011, 10:55 am
NBBLing from Prospect Park West says:
Accidents like this are totally the fault of the new bike lane, which induces "road rage" in us drivers and turns us into homicidal maniacs.

We demand that the unsafe conditions be removed and that PPW be restored to its earler, safer configuration.

In fact the wider PPW is, the safer it is. We'd like to explore narrowing the sidewalks on both sides so that not one but two additional traffic lanes could be installed, to maximize the safety of all street users.
April 16, 2011, 3:36 pm
Mhallnyc from Park Slope says:
Can someone put a speed bump on the freeway-like run between the Park & 8th Ave? Everyone tears down it to get to the BQE and there's a school and a daycare right in the area. Brad Lander, oh where art thou?
April 17, 2011, 5:24 pm
Paul from PPW says:
Can the Brooklyn Paper call Louise Hainline for comment? She is quoted in this paper as wanting a bike lane on 8th Avenue. Please ask her if she still thinks it's a good idea.
April 17, 2011, 5:57 pm
Eric says:
Did he get a ticket for riding on the sidewalk?
April 18, 2011, 10:03 am
Doug from Park Slope says:
The sorry truth is that since he hit four poor women, this is probably the last we'll hear of this story. But if a cyclist hit a rich old lady on the sidewalk or in a bike lane and only knocked her glasses off her head or made her drop her purse, we'd have wall-to-wall coverage and a post on the story would have already received 90 comments by now.
April 18, 2011, 10:52 am
Ryan from Park Slope says:
There are already speed bumps on 15th, one per block between 8th and 5th and they due precious little to slow anyone down on that crazy wide street.
April 18, 2011, 10:56 am
Twowheel from South Slope says:
Doug, it seems to me the NBBLers and SfS are suing over what MIGHT happen to some old rich lady. These 4 women who are residents of the shelter, we won't hear about this again. ALao, as someone still not right from a broken leg from a car hitting it, a broken leg is not a light injury.
April 18, 2011, 1:02 pm
Tom from PPW says:
Louise Hainline only cares about theoretical people who get hit by imaginary bikes, not real people who get hit by actual cars.

Sad to call her my "neighbor."
April 18, 2011, 4:45 pm

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