NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A 26-year-old man was killed when a blown tire caused a chain-reaction crash overnight in Brooklyn.

It happened around 1:10 a.m. Wednesday on Grand Street in Williamsburg.

Police said a 30-year-old man was driving a white BMW SUV when his tire blew, causing him to cross into oncoming traffic. The SUV hit a minivan, which crashed into a tree.

The driver of the minivan, 26-year-old Alexander Ulloa-Toribio, was rushed to Woodhull Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The crash happened just blocks from the victim’s home address.

CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge spoke with witnesses who ran over to help but said they were too late.

“I heard a loud boom, thought it was gunshots, but it wasn’t,” witness James Gunn told Duddridge. “I looked out the window, I saw a car wrapped around that tree there.”

“Somebody came out with a bat while they were on the phone with the police trying to break the window, but they couldn’t, so I grabbed the bat and I broke the windows,” witness Alex Rodriguez added. “We thought there was nobody in it, because the airbags were out, so we didn’t see nobody. But when we moved the airbags, he was right there.”


Witnesses said they were still on the scene when Ulloa-Toribio’s family arrived distraught.

“My heart and prayers go out to every single family member,” one person said.

Police said the BMW also struck another SUV before coming to a rest.

The driver of the BMW and his 30-year-old passenger were treated for minor injuries. The 34-year-old driver of the other SUV refused medical attention.

As Duddridge reported, the crash happened at the very spot where a memorial is set up for a cyclist who was killed a few years ago.