NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A man was killed by a hit-and-run driver in Brooklyn early Sunday morning.
The victim, identified as 30-year-old Kassim Matthews by family members, was struck by a vehicle near Albany Avenue and Park Place in Crown Heights at around 5:30 a.m., CBS2’s Reena Roy reported.
In surveillance footage, witness Thomas Barnaby can be seen frantically waving, trying to flag down police.
“I’m looking down the street. I see something. I’m like, no, let me run up a little closer … It’s a whole body in the middle of the street, cold, not breathing,” he said.
Matthews was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Police told CBS2 a gray sedan came barreling down Albany Avenue near Park Place and hit Matthews so hard, the impact knocked him out of his shoes. Two parked cars were also damaged as police said the driver left the scene.
Barnaby said he recognized the victim from his building.
“He was a good man. He was a good working man. He’d go to work every day. He spent time with his kids. He don’t do no harm to nobody. He’s a good man,” he said.
“I’m very sad because, you know, he was such a nice person,” Bentley Cotterel added. “He’s a married man. He was a very good father figure.”
Neighbors said two cars were also damaged by the hit-and-run driver and that the intersection is notoriously dangerous because the lanes widen at that point, giving drivers the illusion that they can speed.
“For this very brief stretch of road, cars all of a sudden are liberated from their gridlock. They go really, really fast and it’s unsafe,” neighbor Anna Hanau said.
Residents in the area are calling for the driver to turn himself or herself in to police.
“You are a coward for leaving the scene and not staying behind,” neighbor Nathaniel Godard said.
“I’m very hurt. I hope that person turns himself in. Just have a conscience, urn himself in knowing he had killed someone,” Cotterel added.
Many claim they’ve been hit in the same intersection by speeding cars and they think the city needs to step up and put in speed bumps before there is another tragedy.
Family members told CBS2 off camera that they are in shock and Matthews’ young children are just heartbroken. Meanwhile, police are asking anyone with information to come forward.