Couple Expecting Baby Are Killed in Car Crash; Doctors Deliver a Boy
They were newlyweds barely into their 20s, looking forward to the joy of
having their first child, when the unthinkable happened.
As their livery cab sped to a doctor through Williamsburg, Brooklyn,
just after midnight Sunday, it was struck broadside by a gray BMW sedan,
whose driver and passenger then abandoned their own wrecked car and
vanished into the night.
The expectant parents, Raizy and Nathan Glauber, both 21, were killed.
But their baby boy survived, delivered prematurely in what friends and
family hailed as a precious gift.
“They were always glowing,” one family member, Sarah Gluck, said of the
couple on Sunday. “Everybody wants the baby. It’s going to have a lot of
In the aftermath of the horrifying accident, friends rushed to the
hospital to visit the newborn tenaciously clinging to life, then on to
the synagogue for the funeral of his parents. The boy’s birthday would
fall on the anniversary of his parents’ death; their burial would occur
well before his bris, the circumcision ritual that Jews have honored for
thousands of years, and his naming.
Even for a community accustomed to burying its dead quickly, it was a shattering avalanche of events.
The crash happened at Kent Avenue and Wilson Street. The police said the
livery cab, a black 2008 Toyota Camry, was traveling west on Wilson
Street when it was struck on the driver’s side by the 2010 BMW, which
had been going north on Kent.
It was not clear if one or both of the drivers was at fault, the police
said; the crash was still under investigation. The driver of the BMW is
expected to face an eventual charge of fleeing the scene of the
Mr. Glauber was taken to Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan and was
pronounced dead on arrival at 12:41 a.m., a spokesman for the hospital
His wife was taken a few blocks farther to Bellevue Hospital Center, a
major trauma center skilled at tackling the most challenging
emergencies, where the baby was delivered, according to the police. The
police said Ms. Glauber also had been pronounced dead on arrival.
Bellevue officials would not provide further information. A family
member said the baby was intubated and was in serious condition.
The livery driver, Pedro Nuñez Delacruz, 32, was taken to Bellevue and
released. “Show your face,” his wife, Yesenia Perdomo, who is pregnant
with their fourth child, said Sunday, addressing the BMW driver, who,
with the passenger, was still being sought by the police.
Mr. Delacruz’s application to use the Toyota as a livery cab was
pending, and the car should not have been sent to pick up passengers,
according to the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission. He declined to
comment after speaking to the police.
Neighbors in the couple’s tight-knit Orthodox Jewish community said the couple were part of the Satmar Hasidic sect
and had been paired by a matchmaker before marrying about a year ago.
“They were a special couple,” said a young woman who lived near Ms.
Glauber’s parents, two blocks from the accident, and saw them out
walking almost every day.
Ms. Glauber was from a rabbinical family and worked at a hardware
distribution store, a relative said. Mr. Glauber grew up in Monsey,
N.Y., and came from a prominent family that founded the G&G clothing
chain, a major supplier of suits and other garments to the Orthodox
community. Mr. Glauber was studying Jewish texts, a traditional pursuit
before going on to a career.
A photograph shows the couple smiling shyly in wedding clothes — she in a
high-necked white lace gown holding a matching white bouquet, he in a
long, belted ceremonial coat and an elaborate fur toque.
When the crash happened, Ms. Glauber was 24 weeks pregnant, and she was
rushing to seek medical attention because she could no longer feel the
baby, a family member said.
Hours later, a solid river of black-hatted, black-coated men packed most
of Rodney Street from curb to curb, as the two coffins draped in black
velvet were carried from the synagogue after the funeral. Women filled
the sidewalk and brownstone stairs on the south side of the street.
Those who spoke at the funeral included Zalman Teitelbaum, a grand rabbi
of the Satmar sect, and relatives of the young couple. All wept and
wailed as they addressed the mourners.
“It’s very hard for me,” Ms. Glauber’s father, Yitzchok Silberstein,
told the mourners. “But I have to say that whatever God does is right,
even if I do not understand, he has a plan.”
Her brother, Nuchemyoel Silberstein, said the couple had dinner Saturday
night, as usual, at her parents’ house, about a block from their own
“We were sitting just last night together, and now they are gone,” Nuchemyoel Silberstein said. “How can she be gone?”
Ms. Gluck, a cousin of Mr. Glauber’s, said the couple had been thrilled
to be starting a family. But she said that in a harsh coincidence, Mr.
Glauber’s parents had given birth to another boy a few days ago, and
will now bury his big brother.
The orphaned child will be named after his father, she said, observing
that the boy’s birthdays will always be a challenge.
Isaac Abraham, a community leader in Williamsburg and friend of Ms.
Glauber’s parents, said the Orthodox community would support the family
in any way needed. “Most of the resources are going to the child to make
sure he gets all the medical attention he needs,” Mr. Abraham said.
One of the first people to arrive after the crash, Yisroel Altman, 24, a
salesman who lives in South Williamsburg, rushed to the corner of
Wilson Street and Kent Avenue when he heard there had been an accident.
He said he saw emergency responders use metal cutters to pull Mr.
Glauber, unconscious, from the back passenger door of the smashed Toyota
and perform CPR on him.
Ms. Glauber, who had been sitting behind the driver, was thrown from the
vehicle and came to rest lying down underneath a tractor-trailer parked
on the west side of Kent Avenue, Mr. Altman said. On Sunday morning,
there was debris, including a car bumper and blue medical gloves, still
underneath the tractor-trailer.
Mr. Altman said paramedics had told him that Ms. Glauber had been able
to speak to them when she was first placed into the ambulance.
The driver, Mr. Altman said, was standing, talking to the police, and “looked O.K.”
Mr. Altman said another witness had told him that the driver of the BMW
walked away from his wrecked car, then doubled back for a female
companion in the passenger seat. The BMW is registered to a woman in the
Bronx who was not in the car when it crashed, the police said.
The witness told Mr. Altman that he tried to ask the BMW driver if he
was all right, but that he and the woman ignored the question and kept