Congregants at a small Gravesend church are still reeling from the harrowing accident that followed Sunday services — a motorist’s simple mistake that led to one worshipper’s death and several injuries.
Officials said that a 72-year-old Queens man had just dropped off someone and was leaving the parking lot next to Pyeong Ahn Presbyterian Church, 2407 McDonald Avenue near Avenue W, at 2:48 p.m. on March 7 when he mistakenly put his Mercedes SUV in reverse.
When he then hit the gas, his vehicle went into a semi-circle in reverse, backing into 40-year-old Sung Won Cho and four others, including a 10-year-old girl and a one-year-old boy.
Cho, a resident of Kings Highway, died at the scene. The four other congregants were rushed to Lutheran Medical Center with a smattering of injuries. All were listed in stable condition after treatment.
The 72-year-old, identified as Kyongkoo Park, remained at the scene.
As of this writing, Park wasn’t facing any criminal charges.
News of the accident sent shock waves through the close-knit Korean religious community. Cho, friends said, was very active in the small church.
“When I heard, I could not believe it,” Cho’s niece told reporters. “She’s too young. I felt like I was going to die. She would participate in everything, Sunday school and all.”
Attempts to reach the church were unsuccessful as this paper went to press.
©2010 Community News Group
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