Entertainment

'She took the lives of 2 innocent babies.' Driver charged in death of actor's 4-year-old

In this June 7, 2015, file photo, actress Ruthie Ann Blumenstein, whose stage name is Ruthie Ann Miles, accepts an award for her role in "The King & I" at the Tony Awards in New York. A driver who likely had a seizure behind the wheel then drove into a Brooklyn crosswalk, killing the 4-year-old daughter of the Broadway actress and a 1-year-old boy, was charged with manslaughter on Thursday.
In this June 7, 2015, file photo, actress Ruthie Ann Blumenstein, whose stage name is Ruthie Ann Miles, accepts an award for her role in "The King & I" at the Tony Awards in New York. A driver who likely had a seizure behind the wheel then drove into a Brooklyn crosswalk, killing the 4-year-old daughter of the Broadway actress and a 1-year-old boy, was charged with manslaughter on Thursday. Invision/Associated Press

The woman who ran over two young children on March 5 while they were crossing a Brooklyn street with their mothers — including Tony-winning actress Ruthie Ann Miles — was charged with manslaughter Thursday.

A grand jury indicted Dorothy Bruns, 44, of Staten Island, on multiple charges, including manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and assault, according to the New York Post. She was reportedly arrested at her home Thursday.

New York media reported Bruns wept in court after bail was set at $75,000 bond or $25,000 cash.

At the time, Bruns told police she had a history of seizures and suffered one while she was stopped at a red light, her Volvo sedan plowing into the crosswalk. She told police she didn't remember hitting anyone. Pictures from the scene showed a baby stroller crushed on the ground near the car's back tires.

Joshua Lew, 1, and Abigail Blumenstein, 4, were killed. Blumenstein was the actress's daughter. (Miles is the mother's stage name.)

Miles, who is pregnant, and her close friend Lauren Lew, Joshua's mother, were both hospitalized after the crash. Miles in intensive care.

District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said Bruns had been warned two months earlier that her health made her a risk behind the wheel, The New York Daily News reported.

"And she continued to drive," Gonzalez said. "She took the lives of two innocent babies, injured three pedestrians, their mothers. And it was tragic, but it was solely due to her selfish decision to drive."

According to media reports, the two women had just left a church event at a nearby community center. Witnesses said Lew ran to her son and knelt beside him, trying to revive him.

Three days after the crash, the Blumenstein family released a statement saying it was a "miracle" that their unborn baby was not hurt.

Bruns had 12 traffic violations since 2016 for offenses ranging from speeding in school zones to running red lights, the Post reported.

"She should never have been allowed to be driving a car after what we know of these other violations," Mayor Bill de Blasio, a vocal advocate for traffic safety, said after the crash. He lives in the same Park Slope neighborhood, full of families, where the children died.

Miles won a Tony in 2015 for her role in "The King and I" revival. The Broadway community rallied behind both families after the crash. GoFundMe campaigns were set up for them. A host of Broadway stars, among them Lin-Manuel Miranda, Audra McDonald, Rosie O’Donnell and Ken Watanabe, offered condolences on social media and spread word of the fundraising efforts.

Bruns faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

Authorities said she was warned three times by her doctors, in January and February, that she should stop driving because of her seizures.

"So it's not going to bring those kids back, but at least it shows there's going to be some accountability," Gonzalez said.

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