A speeding driver fatally struck a woman before smashing through a construction site in Downtown Brooklyn during the morning rush Wednesday, witnesses and emergency officials said.
The 81-year-old motorist behind the wheel of a black Ford Expedition struck the victim — Department of Education employee Tracy Belgrave — as he sped north along Pearl Street, before plunging into a construction area and plowing through some scaffolding near the Marriott Hotel just before 9:30 am, witnesses say.
The crash sent construction debris flying through the air, nearly striking individuals crossing through the busy commercial area. A fire hydrant was also launched across the bustling pedestrian walkway that connects Jay Street and Adams Street near the hotel.
First responders rushed Belgrave to Brooklyn Hospital, where doctors pronounced her dead shortly after 10 am, according to police.
Meanwhile, the elder male driver was pinned in his car and had to be extricated by rescue workers, according to firefighters. Medics ferried him to Brooklyn Hospital for treatment as well.
New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza released a statement following news the Education Department employee’s passing.
“Tracy was beloved by all of her colleagues, and I’m devastated by this tragic loss for the DOE community,” he said. “I share my deepest condolences with her family, friends and colleagues. We will have grief counselors available to staff for as long as it is needed, and encourage anyone to reach out for assistance at any time.”