After Death of Ruthie Ann Miles’ Daughter, Should Doctors Alert DMV of Drivers With Medical Condition?

Tragedy struck Tony award winner Ruthie Ann Miles when her 4-year-old daughter Abigail was struck and killed by a car.   

Also killed was family friend Joshua Lew, who was just a year old.

A memorial continues to grow at the corner where the accident took place in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn, N.Y., earlier this week. 

Miles and her friend were crossing the street with their kids when the driver of a white Volvo allegedly ran a red light and plowed into them. Witnesses say the little boy’s stroller was dragged halfway down the street.

Miles is also 4 months pregnant. She is said to be devastated by the death of her daughter. Despite the tragedy, the unborn child appears to be fine. 

The Volvo came to a halt only after it smashed into another vehicle. Surveillance tape captures the moment the driver is about to run the red light.

That driver, 44-year-old Dorothy Bruns, suffers from multiple sclerosis. She also has heart problems and a history of seizures. She told police that she blacked out, and she was seen foaming at the mouth after the crash.

Dr. Nita Landry of TV’s The Doctors says both physician and patient have a responsibility to make sure motorists are healthy enough to drive. 

“If someone has dizziness or fainting spells, seizures or certain heart conditions, then we want to do a complete evaluation and make sure they protect their safety and protect the safety of everyone else on the road,” she said. 
Should her driver’s license have been revoked? Should her doctors have notified state authorities that she was a potential risk?

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who lives in the area of the crash, is angry that the suspect has not been charged with a crime, considering her record of traffic violations.

“I wish she was under arrest right now,” he said Wednesday. “I just want to speak from the heart: This is just terrifying, what happened to these children, and it should never happen again. This should never have happened. She should have never been allowed to be driving a car after what we know.”

Bruns also has had a history of traffic violations. Her vehicle was cited for running four red lights and for speeding through a school zone during a 15-month period that ended last October. 

Only a handful of states require physicians to notify the local DMV when a patient has an impairment that would affect their driving — New York is not one of them.


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