Cops: Help Us Find Hit-and-Run Drivers Who Both Struck and Killed a Brooklyn Pedestrian
Police say they have identified two cars whose drivers hit a Brooklyn pedestrian before fleeing last month, but still need the public’s help in nailing down the case.
According to cops, Omar Stewart, 61, was on the northbound side of Washington Avenue in the Prospect Heights neighborhood at around 2:15 a.m. on July 10 when he attempted to enter a cab. First, Stewart was hit by the driver of a white Toyota RAV 4, one that is at least 10 years old. That collision sent Stewart into the southbound lane of traffic where he was hit by the driver of a small black SUV, whose model cops could not make out on video.
Neither driver remained on the scene after hitting Stewart and causing severe head and body trauma. He was taken to Methodist Hospital, where he died.
The video shows the moments leading up to the crash and the moments after (the crash itself is far down the block and pixillated). What is clear is that both drivers were traveling at a high rate of speed. The white car, cops said, “sustained front bumper and hood damage. It also did not appear to have a license plate.”
Much less is known about the black car.
Plenty is known about Omar Stewart, though cops did not provide even accurate information about the deceased (identifying him as Stewart Haliburton). According to the Daily News, Stewart was on his way home to Bedford-Stuyvesant from a block party and was hit as he waiting for a cab outside a car service storefront.
Stewart, the paper added, had three kids and worked as a tour bus driver.
“He was a really nice guy,” Delores Davis, the sister of Stewart’s best friend, told the News. “We called him, ‘The Big O.’ We grew up in Park Slope. He enjoyed his job and always talked about the different places he was going. He got engaged two or three years ago.”
In fact, Stewart’s fiancée, Kecia Edey, had FaceTimed with Stewart minutes before the crash as he waited for his car.
An exceptionally low number of hit-and-run crashes are ever solved, according to the NYPD’s own statistics. In 2020, the last full year for which police have compiled annual numbers, there were 39,299 hit-and-run cases involving injury or property damage. Of those, only 351 drivers, or just 0.9 percent were ever charged. The cops do a slightly better job on hit-and-run cases involving only personal injury; in 6,054 hit-and-run crashes, 280 drivers, or 4.6 percent, were caught.
Cops are hoping anyone with information will call Crimestoppers at 800-577-8477 (TIPS) or for (888) 577-4782 (or 57-PISTA, for Spanish). The public can also submit tips through the Crimestoppers website or on Twitter @NYPDTips.