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A baby lives, its parents die, and an Orthodox community mourns

March 03, 2013|By Tina Susman
  • Orthodox Jewish mourners gather in Brooklyn on Sunday for the funeral of a husband and wife, both 21, who were killed in a car crash.
Orthodox Jewish mourners gather in Brooklyn on Sunday for the funeral of… (John Minchillo / Associated…)

NEW YORK -- They were a young couple expecting their first baby, so when 21-year-old Raizy Glauber felt queasy, her husband, Nathan, also 21, called a cab to take them to the hospital. At an intersection in Brooklyn early Sunday, their taxi was struck by a BMW, whose occupants fled on foot and left the couple to die.

Hours later, police were still searching for the man and woman who ran from the scene, while relatives of the dead mourned their loss and prayed that the couple’s baby boy, delivered three months prematurely by an emergency Caesarean section, would survive.

Hundreds of people filled the streets of the couple’s Williamsburg neighborhood in Brooklyn on Sunday as two coffins draped in black velvet were carried through the crowd into a synagogue for the funerals.

“I can’t get over it,” a relative of Nathan, Sarah Gluck, said through tears as the sound of crying and wailing floated through the cold morning air.

PHOTOS: Young couple killed, baby survives

"We just lost a beautiful couple," said Miriam Stern, who knew the family. "Two wonderful people, always with a smile on their face, always trying to help.”

Relatives, friends and neighbors were offering a $1,000 reward to help find the driver and the second person in the BMW, which some local news reports said was traveling at a high rate of speed when it smashed into the livery cab. The 32-year-old cab driver suffered relatively minor injuries and was released from a hospital Sunday.

Vos Iz Neias, an online news site that covers the Orthodox Jewish community to which the couple belonged, quoted witnesses as saying the force of the crash threw Raizy Glauber from the cab and beneath a tractor trailer parked nearby. The livery cab driver and Nathan Glauber were pinned in the mangled car. Emergency responders didn’t even notice Raizy Glauber until someone spotted her legs protruding from beneath the truck.

"The fire department had to cut open the car. They took off the windshield and the roof and took the male out of the car and laid him down,” Shulem Amram, who arrived on the scene seconds after the crash, told VIN News. “A few seconds later, they noticed the woman lying under the tractor trailer.”

Amram said he and others performed CPR on Nathan Glauber, who was unconscious and unresponsive.

The couple, seated in the back seat of the vehicle, were pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. They had been married about a year. Their baby was in critical but stable condition Sunday night.

"This baby will be well taken care of," said Isaac Abraham, a spokesman for the Orthodox Jewish community who knows the family. "It's a large family and community. This baby, unfortunately, will have to grow up and, at a later date, find out that it has no parents."

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tina.susman@latimes.com

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