Woman dead, man in critical condition after car wash crash

Woman dead, man in critical condition after car wash crash
Deadly crash: A woman died and her husband was critically injured when the driver of a Jeep Liberty struck them at the corner of Gerritsen Avenue and Avenue U on May 1.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

A Midwood woman was killed and her husband seriously injured when they were hit by the driver of a sport utility vehicle at a car wash on Tuesday.

Police responded to a report of a collision at a car wash near Gerritsen Avenue and Avenue U at 2:56 pm on May 1. They found an unresponsive 85-year-old woman and a 90-year-old man, both with “severe trauma to the head and body.” Medical personnel declared the woman dead at the scene, and rushed the man to Lutheran Medical Center in critical condition, according to police.

Police later identified the deceased woman as Joan Tornabene.

Police said Tornabene and her husband were evaluating damage to the back of their silver Honda Accord which had been rear ended by a black Jeep Liberty that was leaving the car wash. A 61-year-old male worker then got in the Jeep, put it in reverse, and hit the building. He then accelerated forward and struck the two of them while they were behind their car. The driver remained at the scene.

The Jeep was being pulled out of the car wash mechanically and not being driven by a driver when it originally hit the Honda, according to police.

“Preliminarily, it appears it was coming off the car wash line,” said a police spokesman. “It struck their car.”

The driver of the Jeep was moving the vehicle after the initial rear-end collision when the fatal crash took place.

“The individual got in to move it,” said the spokesman. “That’s when the accident happened.”

There have been no arrests, but the crash remains under investigation by the police Collision Investigation Squad.

The man’s condition was “serious, but stable” as of the night of May 1, another police spokesman said.

Reach reporter Adam Lucente at alucente@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow him on Twitter @Adam_Lucente.

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