Cobble Hill

Drivers arrested in horrific Atlantic Ave. crash that killed 18-year-old

One driver reckless, the other intoxicated

August 21, 2023 Mary Frost
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COBBLE HILL — Both drivers have been arrested in a fiery crash that took the life of a young woman in Cobble Hill early Friday morning.

Police have identified the victim as Shanti Joyner, age 18. Joyner lived on Charles Avenue in the Port Richmond section of Staten Island, police said.

Joyner was a passenger in the front seat of a white 2019 Honda Accord which was being driven by her sister Iesha Joyner, 32. Their Honda was struck by a black Mercedes Benz S550 driven by Kashawn Croswell, 25, as he drove “recklessly” through the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and Court Street, according to the police report. Police received the 911 call at 3:25 a.m.

Both drivers involved in the crash have been arrested: Croswell, who is a resident of Vandalia Avenue in East New York, and Iesha Joyner, who lives in Staten Island with her sister. Joyner is currently hospitalized at New York-Presbyterian Methodist Hospital.

Croswell was charged with Manslaughter: Recklessly causes death; Criminally Negligent Homicide; and Leaving Accident — result in death, according to the police report. 

A young woman gazes at the spot where a car involved in Friday morning’s crash struck a tree in front of Trader Joe’s in Cobble Hill. Eagle photo by Mary Frost

Joyner was charged with Driving While Intoxicated; Operating a Motor Vehicle Without Insurance; Motor Vehicle Violation: Operator unregistered vehicle; and Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol.

An investigation by the NYPD Highway District’s Collision Investigation Squad determined that Crosswell’s Mercedes was traveling southbound on Court Street, approaching the intersection of Atlantic Avenue. As he proceeded through the intersection, his Mercedes struck Joyner’s Honda, causing the Honda to spin and strike a tree in front of Trader Joe’s. The Mercedes, which came to rest on the opposite side of Court Street, caught fire, and Croswell initially fled before being apprehended a short distance away, police said.

Police found Joyner unconscious and unresponsive with body trauma in the front passenger seat of the Honda. Video obtained by abc7 Eyewitness news shows FDNY responders working desperately around the demolished Honda.

EMS transported Joyner to New York-Presbyterian Methodist Hospital, where she was pronounced deceased. EMS also transported her sister and a 29-year-old male rear seat passenger to New York-Presbyterian Methodist Hospital, each in stable condition a cording to the initial report. 

A 24-year-old woman who was a front seat passenger in the Mercedes was also injured, according to the report. EMS transported her to New York-Presbyterian Methodist Hospital in stable condition.

Joyner graduated from Port Richmond High School, just blocks from her home, in 2021, according to a graduation list published by the Staten Island Advance.

Croswell is listed as the CEO of rap record label From Nothing Records, Inc., according to state filings. 

Police tape surrounds damaged street infrastructure following Friday morning’s tragic crash in front of Trader Joe’s in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. Eagle photo by Mary Frost

‘Lethal’ Atlantic Avenue

Residents and community organizations have complained for years about the dangerous stretch of Atlantic Avenue, which functions as a highway despite cutting through pedestrian-heavy neighborhoods filled with local shops and restaurants.   

Five months ago a drunk driver mowed down Katherine Harris, 31, at intersection of Atlantic and Clinton Street, one block away from Friday’s tragedy. That incident took place at the same intersection where Brooklyn Heights resident Martha Atwater was struck and killed in 2013, and where local store owner Muyassar Moustapha was run down in 2015. Dozens of other incidents have left a wake of serious injuries.

Vision Zero map shows the locations of recent accidents resulting in injury and death on Atlantic Avenue and nearby streets. Map courtesy of vzv.nyc

A joint statement issued on Friday by the Brooklyn Heights Association, Atlantic Avenue BID,  Cobble Hill Association, Boerum Hill Association and Willowtown Association described  Atlantic Avenue as “lethal.”

Despite numerous calls to action, nothing has changed. How many more lives need to be lost before the city addresses the pressing need for immediate and comprehensive safety measures along Atlantic Avenue?  No one should risk their lives while navigating our neighborhood streets, and it is clear that Atlantic Avenue is dangerous for all users,” the groups said.

All that remains of a street lamp at the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and Court Street in Cobble Hill following Friday morning’s horrific crash. Eagle photo by Mary Frost

“Yet again, we implore the Department of Transportation to prioritize the implementation of safety measures and direct enforcement that can help prevent such heart-wrenching accidents in the future,” the organizations added. 

On April 19, community organizations and elected officials sent a letter to the New York City Department of Transportation urging the agency to implement numerous pedestrian safety and traffic calming efforts on the avenue. These included raising the crosswalks where Atlantic Avenue intersects with Hicks, Henry, and Clinton Streets; installing mid-block traffic lights; redesigning pedestrian crossings; extending the curbs at intersections; and redesigning the sidewalk and pedestrian space around the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway entrance and exit ramps.

The letter was signed by Councilmembers Lincoln Restler and Shahana Hanif, State Sen. Andrew Gounardes, Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon, the Atlantic Avenue BID, and the Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill and Brooklyn Heights associations. 


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