A talented and heroic young Irish-American woman will likely be removed from life support Monday after she and her college friend were mown down by a heartless hit-and-run driver in Brooklyn on Sunday morning.
Erinn Phelan, 22, who worked in New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office for the NYC Civic Corps, took the full brunt of the impact when she pushed her friend Alma Guerrero out of the way of the careening car. Phelan was declared brain-dead Suday morning at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn.
Sources speculated that Phelan will be kept alive long enough so that friends and relatives from across the country, and possibly from Ireland, will have a last chance to say goodbye to her.
Already, many of Phelan's co-workers, friends and relatives have been gathering at the hospital, some crying and pacing as they awaited any sign of hope from doctors.
The police gave this reconstruction of events: Around 4:30 a.m. on Sunday, a car traveling north on Flatbush Avenue struck the women near the intersection of Prospect Place in Prospect Heights. When officers arrived at the scene, they found the two women lying in the street.
The police found a 1993 green Acura Legend just a few blocks from the accident that had the same license plate that a witness who saw the accident had written down. A description of the driver provided by the witness appears to match a description of Cindy Jasmin, to whom the car is registered, said the chief police spokesman, Paul J. Browne.
Browne said that Jasmin was arrested in Feb. 2009 for driving with a suspended license.
Guerrero is in a stable condition and is expected to recover. Her father, Fidel, confirmed that his daughter's injurioes would have been far worse had her friend not pushed her out of harm’s way.
Guerrero and Phelan, a native of Swampscott, MA, were college roommates, and Guerrero was in New York to visit her friend for the weekend.
Mayor Bloomberg visited King’s Hospital on Sunday to see Phelan and her family and released the following statement:
"When I spoke to Erinn's parents earlier today, I told them that as a father I can’t begin to imagine what they are going through. Our prayers are with their dedicated and idealistic young daughter who's helping New York City answer President Obama's historic call to service."
The history behind “When Irish Eyes are Smiling”