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Woman Killed Celebrating 23rd Birthday; Off-Duty NYPD Officer Arrested, Other Driver At Large – CBS New York


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A woman celebrating her 23rd birthday was killed in a deadly hit-and-run early Sunday morning in Brooklyn.

Police are searching for the driver of the car she was in, who allegedly ran from the scene and left two passengers behind. An off-duty NYPD officer is also facing charges in the crash.

The family of 23-year-old Joanna Dixon told CBS2 she was on her way home from celebrating her birthday with her best friend just before 5 a.m.

“When I got the news this morning – my mom called me – my chest just started beating real fast to hear that my cousin, who I just literately saw a few minutes, few hours, before, is now deceased,” said her cousin, Collado Gray.

A woman celebrating her 23rd birthday was killed in a deadly hit-and-run early Sunday morning in Brooklyn. (Credit: Family handout)

Police said the Mazda they were in blew through a stop sign at Foster Avenue and East 55th Street in East Flatbush. A Nissan T-boned the Mazda in the intersection, sending it spinning into a utility pole.

The driver of the Nissan was identified as 47-year-old Rohan Shaw, an off-duty NYPD officer. He was taken into custody on the scene and charged with vehicular manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, reckless driving, a speed violation and DWAI alcohol.

“You took someone very loving, caring, fun-loving person out of my life,” Gray said. “I was very close to her. I saw her like a little sister.”

Police said the driver of the Mazda ran off, leaving Dixon unconscious and unresponsive. She was rushed to Brookdale Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Her 22-year-old friend was alert but taken to the hospital in serious condition.

“You can run but you can’t hide. Everybody knows who the driver is. But regardless if you panicked or not, he was not supposed to run away. He was supposed to stop and face the consequences,” said longtime friend and landlord Michael Leepack.

Anyone with information about the Mazda driver’s whereabouts is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or 1-888-57-PISTA (74782) for Spanish. You can also submit a tip via the Crime Stoppers website, by tweeting @NYPDTips or by texting 274637.

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