Two children were killed when they were hit by a car in Brooklyn Monday, and their mothers, both from Hawaii, were hospitalized.
One of the women is Tony-Award-winning actress Ruthie Ann Miles, a 2001 Kaimuki High School graduate who is seven months pregnant.
Authorities say Miles was crossing the street with her 5-year-old daughter, Abigail, friend Lauren Lew, and Lew’s 1-year-old son, Joshua, when a car hit them.
It happened at the intersection of 9th Street and 5th Avenue at around 12:40 p.m. EST.
“She (the driver) started going slow, and I was like, oh, I told my friend like oh, watch it, she’s still going,” said a witness. “She threw her head back, closed her eyes, and she just accelerated.”
“The woman stopped for two seconds, really slow, and then floored it trying to get away, and she ended up hitting the parked cars on the other side,” said another witness. “The baby went flying in the air.”
Both children were killed.
Miles and Lew were taken to the hospital, where Miles was initially listed in critical condition. Both are now in stable condition.
The New York Police Department tells us Miles’ unborn baby was not harmed.
Authorities later discovered that a fifth pedestrian, a 46-year-old man, was also hit. He was brought to the hospital by Emergency Medical Services in stable condition.
According to reports, the 44-year-old driver claimed she suffered a medical condition, and was taken away in an ambulance. NYPD confirms she remains in the hospital and, at last check, no arrest has been made. The investigation is ongoing, officials said.
Miles won a Tony Award in 2015 for her performance in “The King and I” revival on Broadway.
In her acceptance speech, she thanked her high school drama teacher, Peggy Anne Siegmund.
Siegmund tells us she’s devastated by the news.
“I don’t have any tears left. I’m numb. I can’t believe it,” she said. “When something happens far a long ways away, it’s hard to process.”
The two kept in touch over the years, and Siegmund visited Miles regularly at her Brooklyn home.
She tells us Miles doted on her daughter, and was excited to welcome another child into their family.
“She announced her pregnancy with this adorable picture of Abigail wearing a T-shirt saying, ‘I’m going to be a big sister,'” Siegmund said, shaking her head. “Does a parent ever recover from losing a child? I doubt it. It’s a parent’s worst nightmare.”
Miles was inducted into the school’s hall of fame last year.
She humbly accepted the honor in a video, “When I was growing up in Hawaii, I really didn’t think that my life would be something that people would want to recognize. For those who don’t know me, which would be most of you unless you were a teacher of mine. In case that is you, ‘Hi! Ruthie! Remember me?’ I was like, I had braces. I talked a lot. You probably gave me detention.”
Iolani graduate Greg Zane was an assistant choreographer for “The King and I.” He and Miles were planning to work together again this summer on the same production in London’s West End.
“She loved that little girl to pieces,” he said. “I can’t imagine how heartbreaking it is for her, and why did this happen? This didn’t have to happen.”
Zane says the whole theater industry is shocked and rooting for Miles to recover.
GoFundMe pages have been set up for both women: