A driver who police say was racing through a Brooklyn neighborhood overnight struck two people waiting at a bus stop, resulting in the death of a 20-year-old woman.
Police were still searching for the driver hours later. Investigators believe three cars were street racing in Crown Heights around 3 a.m. when one of the cars jumped the curb and hit the victims.
A man and a woman, both in their early 20s, were taken to Kings County Hospital. The woman, later identified by authorities as Aniya Blandon, was pronounced dead.
The man, Blandon's boyfriend, suffered "abrasions to his legs" and was expected to be recover.
Police say the driver abandoned the car, a Dodge Charger, near Eastern Parkway and Utica Avenue at the site of the crash and fled in one of the other cars, with parts of the car left scattered across the four-lane road.
Authorities had not released any suspect descriptions by late Monday morning. Investigators said that the speed limit on Utica Avenue (and citywide) is 25 mph, but added that the cars involved in the race and crash were going far faster than that. Residents in the area said that the particular stretch of road where the crash occurred has been a problem spot because it's a downhill slope.
The rise in speeding worsened during the pandemic, and hasn't slowed much since. The latest data shows the number of highway deaths in 2020 was the greatest in more than a decade even though cars and trucks drove fewer miles during the pandemic.
Traffic data indicates the higher death toll was related to higher average speeds in conjunction with more of those on the roads driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol and a slight decline in seatbelt use.
In New York state, the percentage of fatalities for which speeding was the primary cause and the total number of speeding tickets grew from January through June, compared to the year before the pandemic, officials said.
The extreme speeding dates to the early days of the pandemic. With police distracted by civil disobedience and scaling back routine stops for safety, the lightly traveled roads quickly turned into the wild west in many places. In New York City, super cars like Ferraris and Lamborghinis blazed down empty streets, with roaring engines disturbing residents trying to sleep.
In the end, traffic deaths nationwide in 2020 grew about 7.2% to 38,680 even though there was a 13.2% reduction in the number of miles traveled, according to the NHTSA estimates. It was the deadliest year on highways since 2007.