Car hits mother and daughter at dangerous Red Hook intersection | Van Brunt Street

First responders offer medical assistance to the victims of the accident. (photo by Steve Farber.)

A car hit a mother and her young daughter around noon today at the corner of Pioneer and Van Brunt Streets, an intersection for which many Red Hookers have long been clamoring for stoplight.

“Every day I’ve been waiting for something to happen,” said Steve Farber, who lives above the Bait and Tackle and witnessed the aftermath of the incident. “So finally, you know, it happened.”

The car, a Tesla sedan, was turning left off of Pioneer onto Van Brunt, its view obscured by the trucks that are continuously idling at that intersection, when it struck the girl.

“She sprinted out ahead of her mother, and the mother was with her, and she winds up being struck by the driver, and the daughter tumbles into the mother, and they both fall down because the driver can’t stop quick enough,” reports Farber. “By the time I looked out my window I could see the car with the mother and child basically underneath the front bumper, the mother clutching the little girl in her arms, and all the passers-by ran down and told mother and child not to move.”

“The car was on top of them,” the father of the girl told Farber. “Words can’t explain how I feel right now.”

Terry Scott, of Rebuilding Together, called 911, and an ambulance arrived on the scene to treat the mother and daughter, who Farber reports are not seriously injured. Officers Rodriquez and Alba also arrived on the scene to take statements from all involved.

“Without any doubt, at an absolute minimum, we need an all-way stop,” said Farber of the busy intersection. But he notes that the all-day idling of trucks making deliveries to the bars and shops on that stretch would render stop signs useless. “I would argue that a light is necessary if there’s going to be idling, because if there are trucks idling there, southbound traffic on Van Brunt will never, ever see the stop sign, so they’ll just shoot right through.”

Farber is not alone in calling for stoplights at that intersection. John McGettrick, founder of the Red Hook Civic Association, has been organizing for a traffic light there as well. The commuter ferry stop, opening June 1, will add to the congestion at that intersection.

“Over the past two years there have been 22 accidents on that corner,” he told the Star-Revue. “One of them was a collision with a police car!”

To join McGettrick, and also be informed of upcoming Civic Association meetings, email


  1. Did the driver of the truck or car get a ticket

  2. Omg,! I remember the dangers of that Street. I pray both recover totally and also I pray for the driver who certainly must feel terrible too… Bless you all. And to Brooklyn traffic dept. Put the needed signs up already!

  3. We need a traffic light on VanBrunt St. & Pioneer St.

  4. It is and has always been a most dangerous intersection on Van Brunt. In addition to enforcing speed limits down there which have gotten out of control; it is truly time to put a light there and actually on every corner on both Richards Streets, Van Brunt and Conover. Sometimes, I truly believe Red Hook was a much better place in the 90s. My two cents.

  5. I totally agree we need traffic lights that street is constantly congested I cross that street every morning at 7am and it is very scary because it is congested at that time

  6. We need some ticketing on Van Brunt. Speeding, double parking, parking on the sidewalk. It’s a free for all right now.