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Driver Who Fatally Struck Children In Park Slope Crosswalk Found Dead From Apparent Suicide

Dorothy Bruns' damaged car
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Dorothy Bruns' damaged car Danny Lewis / WNYC

The driver who ran a red light and killed two young children crossing the street with their mothers was found dead in her Staten Island apartment on Tuesday. Police believe that Dorothy Bruns, who faced manslaughter charges, died from suicide.

On March 5th, Ruthie Ann Miles, a Tony award-winning actress, and her friend Lauren Lew were walking in Park Slope with their children—Miles's four-year-old daughter Abigail and Lew's 20-month-old son Joshua—and were crossing 9th Street at Fifth Avenue when Bruns came barreling through a red light.

Abigail and Joshua were killed and Miles, who was seven months pregnant at the time, lost her baby in May.

Bruns had multiple sclerosis, which prompted questions about whether she was fit to drive. She claimed she had a seizure during the crash. She also had numerous speeding tickets in the years before the crash. And in September 2017, she struck a pedestrian in Long Island City, after which the NYPD reportedly failed to investigate the incident.

In addition to manslaughter, Bruns was charged with criminally negligent homicide, reckless endangerment, assault and reckless driving. She pleaded not guilty and was released on bail in September.

According to WCBS 2, Bruns was found during a police wellness check: "Officers found Bruns’ body and evidence she had ingested pills, and she was pronounced dead at the scene. A note found near body made reference to 'I don’t want to live like this anymore.'"

Miles recently returned to the stage for the London production of The King and I.

If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide: do not leave the person alone; remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt; and call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional.

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