A woman taking a break from cooking for her grandchildren was struck and killed by a neighbor's vehicle backing out of a driveway as she walked in a quiet Jericho cul-de-sac Thursday morning, relatives and authorities said.
Nassau police did not identify the woman killed in the 8:30 a.m. accident on Manors Drive, but Michael Lam, 48, who arrived at his brother's Jericho home in the afternoon, said the woman was his mother, Miu Lamhung, 84, who lives with him in Jersey City.
Lam said his mother had been staying at his brother's house on the street to look after her two teenage grandchildren while their parents were in Hong Kong.
As he entered his brother's house, Lam noticed pieces of pork and a cleaver sitting on a cutting board. "She was cooking for the kids," Lam said, bursting into tears.
"This is the beauty of a Chinese grandmother, always taking care of their children and grandchildren," said longtime family friend Daniel Lai, 52, of Jericho, as he and Lam looked at the meal Lamhung never completed.
A man at a house a few doors away acknowledged his wife had been backing out of their driveway and struck Lamhung. The man, who would not give his full name, said his wife had looked both ways and did not see Lamhung. The man, who said he is a police officer in a local village, said he tried CPR but couldn't revive Lamhung.
He said his wife "was distraught" and their priest planned a visit to counsel her.
Nassau police said the accident did not appear to be criminal.
Lam said his mother had accompanied him to Gracie Mansion in 2010. Bloomberg thanked him for donating umbrellas from his wholesale company for the annual 9/11 remembrance ceremony at Ground Zero each year. "She was so proud," Lam recalled.
Lai said Lamhung was born in China, where, as a young woman, she'd worked planting trees. Lai said she planned to go to China on Monday for a reunion with other workers to see the trees now that they're grown. After that, she started an umbrella-manufacturing company before immigrating to the United States eight years ago and becoming a citizen.
Lam said his brother and sister-in-law were rushing home from Hong Kong. Their children, ages 14 and 15, were at school Thursday and didn't know their grandmother was dead. "I don't know what to tell them," Lam said.
Lam said he didn't blame the driver.
"It was an accident. No one wishes something like this to happen," he said. "If somebody tells you your mother is dead, you feel things. But I don't want to have anger."