The driver of a stolen dump truck confronted for banging up a BMW turned Mother’s Day into hell when he hit the gas, crushing a Queens family’s beloved matriarch between parked vehicles — as the victim’s daughter watched helplessly.
“Mommy! Mommy! I love you!” victim Florence Ngwu’s daughter Princess wailed as the heartless driver barreled away from the family’s South Jamaica home, leaving the mother in critical condition.
“Her heart stopped twice,” the victim’s neece told the Daily News after visiting her at the hospital. She’s just bleeding, she’s bleeding, just bleeding. . . (Doctors) told my uncle, ‘There seems like there’s no hope here, do we want to continue?’ . . . He said ‘No she she’s a fighter, she she’s strong. Let’s wait it out until she decides to give up.’”
The victim’s family had been preparing to shower the mother of four with gifts during a celebratory cookout when they ran out of their home on 120th Ave. near 167th St. about 8:30 am Sunday after hearing the initial crash.
The driver of a Ford F-550 dump truck truck reported stolen from Pawar Builders in Elmhurst slammed into Princess’ parked BMW eight times, dragging it, as he tried to turn around at the end of the dead-end block, video obtained by the Daily News shows. He was arguing with a woman seated beside him as he attempted to navigate the turn, witnesses told the Daily News.
That’s when Ngwu, 49, and Princess, 24, ran outside to confront the driver. A 39-year-old neighbor who only gave his name to him as Sean joined them and also wound up struck by the driver.
The driver was screaming at his passenger, “’Look what you made me do, stupid stupid motherf—er,” according to Sean.
Ngwu, a hard-working nurse in a Jamiaca, Queens, nursing home, picked up a traffic cone, at first to make more room for the driver, but then waved it at him, appearing to yell at him, the video shows.
“She’s just trying to get his attention to tell him to stop,” said neighbor Sharon Brown, 74, who witnessed the confrontation.
Sean grabbed the cone out of Ngwu’s hands but the truck driver hit the gas, colliding with Brown’s husband’s parked SUV and sending it hurtling into Ngwu, Sean and Princess, horrifying video shows.
“He just pushed the gas,” Sean told the Daily News, still bloodied and bruised after being treated and released from a local hospital. “I can’t even explain it, man — can’t even explain it.”
“The impact takes my husband’s car and swings it into the driveway,” Brown said. “The woman is there and he smashes her.”
Despite Ngwu’s daughter’s anguished pleas, the driver never paused, blowing through a stop sign at the end of the block to get away.
Ngwu was left pinned between the SUV and a parked vehicle it crushed her against.
“I saw the lady pinned, tried to move the car,” said a neighbor who asked not to be identified. “We couldn’t move the car.”
“I didn’t worry about myself,” Sean said. “When she was pinned, I tried to force her car (off her) — I could n’t.”
Princess, who was not badly hurt, raised out in anguish for her mother.
First responders had to use a jack to pry the vehicles apart, neighbors said.
Medics rushed Ngwu with severe head trauma to Jamaica Hospital, where she was surrounded by family in critical condition Sunday night.
“She had no press when she left here. At the hospital they get a little bit of pulse,” Sean said. “The husband says they’re just working on her.”
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Cops recovered the abandoned truck later Sunday outside a Baptist church on 108th Ave. and 164th Place, a mile-and-a-half from the scene of the crash. police sources said. The driver, wearing a black sweatshirt and gray carpenter pants, was last spotted running west on 108th St.
Before the crash, Sean had been looking forward to celebrating a peaceful Mother’s Day with neighbors, including Ngwu.
“She’s African and I’m Jamaican so we both cook like crazy,” he said. “We were supposed to cook for Mother’s Day and share recipes. See, my grill is in the front all ready.”
“My aunt is a very strong woman, you would never think anything like this would happen to her,” the victim’s niece Nnenna B., 29, said. “She’s a very strong-willed person, very caring, very religious woman. Such a good woman. Wonderful mom. Absolutely wonderful mom.”
“Insurance could’ve covered it,” the niece said of the initial crash. “Just inhumane and so cruel, because it’s just like why? I don’t know what’s going on in the world today. Life doesn’t make sense to me.”
Citywide through May 5, traffic deaths are up 12% this year, with 75 victims compared to 67 by the same point last year. But pedestrian fatalities are down 12%, with 36 victims so far in 2022 compared to 41 by this time last year.
“It’s horrible. It could have been me, it could have been my husband,” Brown said. “It could have been anybody, minding their business. Mother’s Day. Now this woman may be going into eternity.”