NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police said a driver ran away from the scene of a fatal car crash in Brooklyn early Sunday morning.
It happened around 5 a.m. at East 55th Street and Foster Avenue in East Flatbush.
Police said a 2019 Nissan GTR and a 2016 Mazda MZ6 collided, causing the Mazda to spin into a telephone pole. The driver of that vehicle then took off on foot before officers arrived, CBS2’s Christina Fan reported.
Details on the cause of the crash were not immediately released, but the driver of the Nissan, Rohan Shaw, a 47-year-old off-duty NYPD officer, was taken into custody and is facing charges.
Two women, ages 22 and 23, were in the Mazda when officers arrived at the scene. Both were taken to local hospitals.
The 23-year-old, identified by police as Joanna Dixon of Brooklyn, was pronounced dead. A family member said she had recently turned 23 and was out celebrating her birthday.
“When I got news this morning, my mom called me, my chest just started beating real fast to hear that my cousin, who I just literally saw a few minutes, hours before is now deceased,” Collado Gray said.
Gray said his cousin and her best friend were returning from a night of clubbing.
“You took someone very loving, caring, fun-loving person out of my life. I was very close to her. She was like a little sister,” Gray said.
The 22-year-old, who has not been identified, was last reported to be in serious condition.
Distraught family and friends put up a memorial Sunday night at the scene. As grief stricken family members lit candles to remember the victims, officers were back on the corner of East 55th and Foster to continue their investigation. Friends want to know what caused the driver of the Mazda to blow a stop sign and then run away after two passengers inside were critically injured.
“You can run but you can’t hide. Everyone knows who the driver is but regardless if you panicked or not he was not supposed to run away. He was supposed to stop and face the consequences,” Michael Leeback said.
In addition to being her landlord, Leeback said he has been longtime friends with the 22-year-old victim.
“I’m just praying she gets treatment. I know, it’s very, very sad,” Leeback said.