Woman struck and killed by car in Downtown Brooklyn

December 4, 2019 Noah Goldberg and Mary Frost
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A pedestrian was struck and killed by an SUV on a dead-end block next to a school in Downtown Brooklyn Wednesday morning as she tried to cross the street, police said.

Tracy Belgrave, age 40, who worked for the Department of Education, was crossing Pearl Street near Willoughby Street around 9:30 a.m. when an 81-year-old man driving north on Pearl Street in a 2004 Ford crashed into her and killed her, according to cops.

Both the driver and the woman were taken to Brooklyn Hospital, where the woman was pronounced dead. The driver was in stable condition and treated for minor injuries.

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The car crashed into a construction site where Pearl Street dead ends onto a busy pedestrian walkway connecting Adams and Jay streets. A section of Pearl Street in Downtown Brooklyn has been designated as a “shared street” by the city’s Department of Transportation.

The shared street begins at Fulton Street and extends north 39 feet past the intersection at Willoughby Street, according to a map released by the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. The rest of Pearl Street will not be made a shared street until construction work at NYU Tandon concludes, according to Community Board 2 District Manager Robert Perris.

On a shared street, pedestrians and cyclists share space with vehicles that are restricted to a 5-mph speed limit.

While it was not immediately clear if the woman was struck in the 39-foot section of the shared street north of Willoughby on Pearl Street, the driver would have been in a school zone nonetheless, and on a dead-end street. Police said the woman was struck “midblock,” but did not provide an exact address.

Map via Downtown Brooklyn Partnership
Map via Downtown Brooklyn Partnership

Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza said in a statement, “Tracy was beloved by all of her colleagues, and I’m devastated by this tragic loss for the DOE community. 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.”

The accident took place just feet from Brooklyn Friends School, which has its entrance on Pearl Street. The rear entrance to 345 Adams St., which houses the Board of Elections, also faces the crash site.

A worker on Pearl Street, who did not want to be identified, told the Brooklyn Eagle that a person in an office with a window facing the street heard and saw the SUV “going at a very high speed down the street towards the Marriott end.”

Police did not make any immediate arrests.

A video posted by the Citizen app soon after the crash has been posted below.

SUV Crashed Into Structure @CitizenApp

335 Adams St 9:30:44 AM EST

Update (Dec. 4 at 2:50 p.m. and at 4:45 p.m.): This article has been updated with additional information.

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