Doctors successfully delivered a baby boy from a young woman after she and her husband were killed in a horrific hit-and-run car crash.
Pregnant Raizy Glauber, 21, was being taken to hospital by her husband Nachman, 21, because she was feeling ill when the cab they were in was struck by a BMW at a junction in the Williamsburg neighbourhood of Brooklyn, New York.
Both parents died, but their baby son survived and was born prematurely.
Isaac Abraham, a neighbour of Raizy Glauber’s parents, who lives two streets from the scene of the crash, said the engine of the cab ended up in the back seat, where Mrs Glauber was sitting before she was hurled out by the impact.
Her body landed under a parked tractor-trailer, said witnesses who rushed to the scene after the crash. Mr Glauber was pinned in the car and emergency workers had to cut off the roof to get him out.
Both parents were pronounced dead at hospitals, where doctors performed a Caesarean section on the mother to deliver the baby. Both parents died of blunt-force trauma, the medical examiner said.
The baby was in a serious condition, Mr Abraham said. Neighbours and friends said he weighed only about 4lbs. The hospital did not return calls about the infant.
The Glaubers’ cab driver was treated in hospital for minor injuries and later released. The driver of the BMW and a passenger fled and were being hunted, police said.
Sara Glauber, Mr Glauber’s cousin, said Mrs Glauber “was not feeling well, so they decided to go” to hospital. Mr Abraham said the Glaubers called a car service because they did not own a car, which is common for New Yorkers.
The Glaubers were married about a year ago and had begun a life together in Williamsburg, where Raizy Glauber grew up in a prominent Orthodox Jewish rabbinical family, Sara Glauber said.
Raised north of New York City in Monsey, New York, and part of a family that founded a line of clothing for Orthodox Jews, Nachman Glauber was studying at a rabbinical college nearby.
Brooklyn is home to the largest community of ultra-Orthodox Jews outside Israel, more than 250,000.
The community has strict rules governing clothing, social customs and interaction with the outside world. Men wear dark clothing that includes a long coat and a fedora-type hat and often have long beards and ear locks.
Jewish law calls for burial of the dead as soon as possible, and hours after their deaths, the Glaubers were mourned by at least 1,000 people at a funeral outside the Congregation Yetev Lev D’Satmar synagogue.
Men in black hats gathered around the coffins in the middle of the street, while women in bright headscarves stood on the pavement, in accordance with the Orthodox Jewish tradition of separating the sexes at religious services.
The sound of wailing filled the air as two coffins covered in black velvet with a silver trim were carried from a vehicle. A succession of men and women delivered eulogies in Yiddish, sobbing as they spoke into a microphone about the young couple. “I will never forget you, my daughter!” said Yitzchok Silberstein, Raizy Glauber’s father.
Afterwards, the cars carrying the bodies left and headed to Monsey, where another service was planned in Nachman Glauber’s home town.
“You don’t meet anyone better than him,” said his cousin. “He was always doing favours for everyone.”
She said Nachman’s mother herself just delivered a baby two weeks ago.
“I’ve never seen a mother-son relationship like this,” Ms Glauber said. “He called her every day to make sure everything was OK. He was the sweetest, most charming human being, always with a smile on his face.”
She said of the couple: “If one had to go, the other had to go too because they really were one soul.”