Driver kills woman crossing Atlantic Ave in Brooklyn Heights

The car that delivered the fatal blow to the pedestrian on Atlantic Avenue was severely damaged in the incident.
The car that delivered the fatal blow to the pedestrian on Atlantic Avenue was severely damaged in the incident.
Photo by Aidan Graham

A 31-year-old woman is dead after a car blew through a red light and plowed into her on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn Heights on Sunday night. 

According to police, Katherine Harris was crossing the heavily trafficked roadway inside the marked intersection at Clinton Street, before the speeding 27-year-old driver of a black Volvo rammed into her just before 10 p.m. 

The driver, Erick Taxilaga Trujillo, who later refused to take a breathalyzer test, had allegedly been speeding, and ran a solid red light at the intersection, cops said. Harris had the right-of-way when the crash occurred. 

Following the initial collision, the westbound Volvo hit another vehicle, before both cars came to a rest. 

In the aftermath of the mayhem, Taxilaga Trujillo’s car laid pressed against an outdoor dining sidewalk shed, with the front of the car severely damaged. 

Paramedics arrived shortly after the incident and found Harris’ body in the middle of the block between Clinton and Henry streets (several yards from the intersection where the crash occurred), and pronounced the female pedestrian dead on the scene, according to police. 

NYPD officers, meanwhile, arrested Taxilaga Trujillo on a slew of charges — including manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, driving while ability impaired, and refusal to take a breath test. 

Local Council Member Lincoln Restler took to social media to call for better traffic calming measures along Atlantic — one of the widest streets in the borough, which leads to the entrance to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway just a few blocks from Sunday’s tragic crash.

Another tragic, avoidable death on Atlantic Avenue between Henry and Clinton [streets]. I am so horribly sorry about this unnecessary loss of life,” the pol said. “Traffic calming and safety improvements on Atlantic are a top priority. We are committed to working with neighbors and DOT to make it happen.”

“Earlier this year, I walked Atlantic with DOT and stressed the need for critical safety improvements. We can’t keep allowing more and more traffic fatalities when we have the power to stop them.”

According to the data-tracking website CrashMapper, there have been over 57 traffic fatalities, including 25 pedestrians, on the streets of the Big Apple since the year began. 

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect the location of the crash, as well as the charges against the suspect, Erick Taxilaga Trujillo. 

For more coverage of Atlantic Avenue, head to BrooklynPaper.