Suit: Staten Island driver charged in fatal Brooklyn crash also hit pedestrian last year
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Dorothy Bruns, the Staten Island driver criminally charged in a fatal crash in Brooklyn who apparently committed suicide Tuesday, also ran into a pedestrian last year in Queens, a newly filed lawsuit alleges.
Bruns was driving a 2012 Volvo when she struck Brandy Williams at 41-01 10th Street in Long Island City, Queens, on Sept. 13, 2017, a civil complaint alleges.
The site is near the Queensbridge Houses.
Williams suffered “severe and grievous injuries … both internal and external” to her head, body and limbs, alleges the complaint.
Those injuries aren’t specified.
The complaint contends Bruns drove in a “dangerous and reckless manner,” and failed to observe traffic controls, slow down, brake or stop.
The suit, which was filed Wednesday in state Supreme Court, St. George, seeks unspecified monetary damages.
The venue is based on Bruns’ address, which suit papers list as Rosebank.
The suit says Williams resides in Essex County, N.J.
Williams’ lawyer, Bruce S. Cantin of Jamaica, Queens, did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.
Bruns, 44, was found dead Tuesday with a pill bottle and an apparent suicide note inside her apartment at 1000 Targee Street in Concord, said a Police Department spokesman.
The handwritten note said, in part, “I’m sorry, I can’t do this anymore,” the New York Post reported, citing a police source.
A legal source said a person’s death does not negate a lawsuit against their estate.
The filing of the suit requires the court to appoint an administrator to step into the deceased’s place, said the source.
“The estate is ultimately responsible for any liability the deceased had,” the source said.
Bruns was facing multiple charges, including manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment, stemming from a March 5 incident in which she was accused of fatally plowing into Joshua Lew, 1, and Abigail Blumenstein, 4, near the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Ninth Street in Brooklyn’s Park Slope section.
Authorities allege Bruns, who was driving a 2016 Volvo S60 sedan, accelerated through a red light before hitting the victims.
The two children were walking with their mothers, one of whom was Ruthie Ann Miles, a Tony Award-winning actress who was pregnant. Both women were injured.
Miles lost the unborn child, according to media reports.
Bruns initially told police she had suffered a seizure at the time of the crash, and witnesses alleged her head was hanging back as she drove through the intersection.
NYPD officials said Bruns suffered a “medical episode” before driving through the intersection and the red light.
Authorities allege Bruns got behind the wheel despite doctors ordering her off the road due to her medical condition.