A woman who was pinned between two cars in a Mother’s Day crash has died, one of her relatives told NY1 Monday afternoon.
“I think her heart stopped twice yesterday, but they were able to revive her, but this morning, it stopped again, and they weren’t able to this time,” said the victim's niece, who identified herself as Nnenna B.
Her family wants her remembered "as the strong woman she was," her daughter Princess Ngwu said Monday morning. "She was a fierce woman. The fiercest woman you'll ever meet."
Video obtained by NY1 shows a landscape truck striking a parked BMW multiple times in Jamaica, Queens before then hitting another parked car with such force that it pinned the woman, Florence Ngwu, between two cars and hit two other pedestrians. Neighbors said Ngwu and others jumped in to stop the driver after it first hit the BMW.
“I was just trying to help her out. Just trying to calm her down because that’s her car. They hit her car," said Sean Vassell, one of the people who jumped in to help. He said he suffered minor injuries in the incident. "I said 'it's fine, don’t worry you got the plate number. Just let him go. And just stay in the back and walk away.'"
Ngwu was an immigrant from Nigeria working as a nursing aide, family said. She had four children.
Police say the truck was reported stolen and was then abandoned a mile and a half away.
No arrests have been made. The NYPD is offering a reward for information on the driver.
The death comes as traffic fatalities have increased by 19% compared to this point in 2021, according to data provided to NY1 by the transit advocacy group Transportation Alternatives. Between May 3 and May 9, 12 people were killed in crashes, including Ngwu, increasing 2022 traffic deaths to 81, Transportation Alternatives spokesperson Jason deCastro said.
In recent weeks, city officials have introduced new programs and legislation to address the rise in fatal crashes, including an ad campaign launched by Mayor Eric Adams and a bipartisan bill proposed by Queens Councilwoman Selvena Brooks-Powers that would empower the city to offer a $1,000 reward for information on hit-and-run drivers.