Baby born after parents killed in NYC crash dies

Tuesday, March 5, 2013
FILE - In this file photo of March 3, 2013, mourners surround a casket outside the Congregation Yetev Lev D'Satmar synagogue at the funeral for two expectant parents who were killed in a car accident early Sunday, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. The baby of Nachman and Raizy Glauber, a boy, was delivered prematurely cesarean section and survived until the next morning but died around 5:30 a.m. on Monday, March 4, 2013. Police were searching for the driver of a BMW and a passenger who fled on foot after slamming into the livery cab that transporting the 21-year-old couple to a hospital. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

NEW YORK -- A close-knit ultraorthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn was plunged into a new round of mourning Monday by the death of a baby who was delivered by cesarean section after his parents were killed in a hit-and-run crash a day earlier.

Police hunted for the suspected driver, identified as Julio Acevedo, saying he was barreling down a residential street in a BMW at 60 mph early Sunday when he collided with a car hired to take the couple to a hospital.

The baby was buried near the fresh graves of his parents, Nachman and Raizy Glauber, both 21, according to Isaac Abraham, a spokesman for the Hasidic Jewish community. About a thousand community members turned out for the couple's funeral Sunday.

"The mood in the neighborhood is very heavy," said Oscar Sabel, a retired printer who lives near the accident scene. "We all hoped the baby would survive."

Brooklyn is home to the largest community of ultraorthodox Jews outside Israel, more than 250,000. The couple wed last year in a marriage arranged through a matchmaker and were living in the Williamsburg neighborhood.

They were members of the Satmar Hasidic sect, whose men dress in dark coats and hats, wear long beards and have limited dealings with the outside world. Raizy Glauber grew up in a prominent rabbinical family. Her husband was studying at a rabbinical college; his family founded a line of clothing for Orthodox Jews.

Sabel, dressed in the traditional black coat of the Satmar, said it was a tragedy.

"But it's what God wants," he said. "Maybe the baby's death, and his parents', is not for nothing; God doesn't have to give us answers."

Shortly after midnight Sunday, Raizy Glauber, who was seven months pregnant, wasn't feeling well, so the couple decided to go to a hospital, said Sara Glauber, Nachman Glauber's cousin. They arranged for a livery cab, not hailed off the street like a yellow cab.

The cab had a stop sign, and it's not clear if the driver stopped. Police said the crash with the BMW reduced the cab to a crumpled heap, and Raizy Glauber was thrown from the wreck. The engine ended up in the back seat, Abraham said.

Police said the driver of the BMW ran away.

The baby weighed about 4 pounds, neighbors said. He died of extreme prematurity, the city medical examiner's office said.

The driver of the cab, Pedro Nunez Delacruz, was knocked unconscious but was not seriously hurt. His vehicle should not have been sent for the passengers because an application to use the Toyota as a livery cab had not been approved, the city Taxi and Limousine Commission said.

Acevedo, 44, was arrested last month on a charge of driving while under the influence, and the case is pending. He served about a decade in prison in the 1990s for manslaughter. No one answered the door at Acevedo's last known address, in a public housing complex in Brooklyn.

How Acevedo came to possess the BMW is under investigation. The registered owner, Takia Walker, was arrested on insurance fraud charges Sunday in a scam involving the car, police said. She was not involved in the crash.

A person familiar with the investigation said Walker bought the car legally, or allowed her identification to be used in the purchase, then gave the vehicle to a middleman who either lent or rented it out to the driver. The person was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

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