Bay Ridge

Neighborhood holds vigil for senior killed by car

January 20, 2023 Jaime DeJesus
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A vigil was held Thursday night in Owl’s Head Park for Bay Ridge resident Norman Fruchter, who died two weeks after he was hit by a car near his home.

Fruchter, 85, was crossing Bliss Terrace and 68th Street at 10:12 p.m. on Dec. 22 when he was hit by a Hyundai Elantra traveling in reverse. He died Jan. 4 in NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn.

The driver, a 42-year-old man, stayed at the scene and was not charged. The investigation is ongoing.

The vigil was organized by Families for Safe Streets and the New Settlement Parent Action Committee.

“Norm was a change maker: he inspired others,” said state Sen. Andrew Gounardes. “While we mourn his loss, let’s commit to using his life as an example to fight so that no one lives in fear of crossing the street.”

Norman Fruchter. Photo courtesy of

Fruchter was an education equity movement leader in New York City and New Jersey, according to Chalkbeat. His wife Rachel died in 1997 after she was hit by a van while biking in Prospect Park.

State Sen. Andrew Gounardes speaks at the vigil for Norman Fruchter. Photo courtesy of state Sen. Andrew Gounardes’ office

“We at Families for Safe Streets are saddened and angered by Norm’s loss and horrified at the fact that this is the second time his close family and friends are mourning a loved one due to a crash,” said group member Fabiola Mendieta-Cuapio. “We know that the single best way to prevent traffic deaths is through design changes to our streets. The city must act now to protect vulnerable road users.”

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