Driver fleeing police chase hits two women, kills one in Bushwick

scene of police chase crash
The women were hit at the intersection of Knickerbocker Avenue and Eldert Street.
Photo courtesy of Google Maps

A driver speeding away from cops during a police chase struck two women and killed one in Bushwick on Thursday night.

Police said the driver, who has not been identified, fled from a traffic stop near the intersection of Wilson Avenue and Eldert Street in a 2024 Mazda CX-5 at around 5 p.m. on May 9. They then blew through two stop signs on Knickerbocker Avenue, swerved to avoid another car and hit two pedestrians, a 44-year-old woman and a 71-year-old woman, as they crossed Eldert Street.

Both women, who were reportedly mother and daughter, were left unconscious in the road. Paramedics rushed the 71-year-old woman, later identified as Bushwick resident Juanita Vidal, to Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead. The younger victim, whose name has not been released, was brought to NYC Health+Hospitals/Elmhurst, where she was in critical but stable condition on May 10.

After striking the pedestrians, the driver smashed into a parked van — then leapt out of his vehicle and fled the scene. The investigation was ongoing as of May 10, and police have not yet arrested the driver.

Police chases in New York City have risen significantly under Mayor Eric Adams, news outlet THE CITY reported last year. Chases are supposed to be a last resort, and are supposed to be terminated “when the danger to the public outweighs the benefits of apprehending the perpetrator,” the outlet reported, but some officials said cops are no longer following those policies.

“We are heartbroken to hear that traffic violence killed a 71-year-old woman in Bushwick,” safe-streets advocacy group Transportation Alternatives said on X. “Driving any vehicle at high speeds puts everyone on the street at risk, and police chases are no exception. We need to ban police chases not just in policy but in practice.”