This Broadway Star Lost Her Child In An Accident – And Now She’s Received Another Devastating Blow

Ruthie Ann Miles is an award-winning Broadway actress who’s appeared in a popular TV show, too. But in 2018 she made headlines for a different reason and the most crushingly tragic one possible. She was one of the victims of a New York car accident which killed two children, one of them being her young daughter, Abigail. She, too, was injured and in the midst of her grief those injuries lead to yet another terrible tragedy for her.

Miles began her career off-Broadway, appearing in popular shows like Avenue Q. In 2013 she picked up two awards for her role in Here Lies Love, playing Imelda Marcos: a Lucille Lortel Award and a Theater World Award. And as her career progressed, her personal life did too. In 2011 she married businessman Jonathan Blumenstein, having been in a relationship with him for a year. In 2013 the couple had their daughter, Abigail.

In 2015 Miles performed as Lady Thiang in the revival on Broadway of the musical The King and I. She was a huge hit with critics, who raved about her. In June of that year she took home a Tony Award, becoming only the second actress of Asian descent ever to do so. The following year she won a recurring role in The Americans, a critically acclaimed and award-winning TV series.

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Miles liked to keep in touch with her fans via social media, where she would often post tidbits about her little girl Abigail. She detailed how the two of them would play hide-and-seek, watch movie musicals and celebrate birthdays. And in January 2018 Miles and Abigail broke some news together. “Abigail has an announcement: She’s going to be the BEST Big Sister,” Miles wrote on her Twitter.

For the next two months Miles tweeted about how her pregnancy was going. Everything seemed fine and she was ready to welcome the new addition to her family. But on March 5, 2018, an unbelievable tragedy took place. Miles and Abigail were out walking with their friends when they were hit by a runaway car and the little girl was killed.

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The incident was horrible in every way. Miles’ friend Lauren Lew was injured and her child, one-year-old Joshua, also died. The driver of the car which killed the two children, Dorothy Bruns, had apparently had a seizure. Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez told the New York Daily News as much. “It’s a real tragedy,” he said.

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A GoFundMe campaign was set up for the family by their friend Jack Stephens. “Our dear friend Ruthie Ann Miles encountered tragedy on March 5, 2018, when a driver ran a red light in Brooklyn, striking four people, including Ruthie and her sweet four-year-old daughter, Abigail,” he wrote on the page. “Ruthie, who is pregnant, is injured and in critical condition, and, very sadly, Abigail passed away.”

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“This GoFundMe has been set up as a centralized point to accept donations. These contributions will go to Ruthie and her family,” Stephens wrote. “Ruthie is beloved by her many friends and colleagues in the Broadway and touring communities. She is always kind and always has a smile. It is our honor to help her in this difficult time.”

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Broadway fans were horrified at the news. Donations started coming in. Miles’ fellow Broadway star Lea Salonga shared the campaign on Facebook and brought in $1,641, while other members of the community rallied round. “What she is going through is unimaginable,” costume designer Clint Ramos told website The FilAm. “So many people are holding her and her family very closely at the moment.”

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Thankfully, Miles began to recover from her physical injuries. On March 8, 2018, a statement was posted on her social media and the GoFundMe page. “We are extremely grateful for your kindness and generosity,” it read. “Ruthie is now out of ICU and healing, by all accounts it is a miracle our second child is unharmed.”

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“Please continue to pray for the Lew and Blumenstein families as we process the unthinkable and lay our grief in the loving arms of Jesus,” it went on. “Joshua and Abigail are now resting in Heavenly peace and Joy.” A GoFundMe had also been set up for the Lews family. “We hope that these funds will serve as an expression of the community supporting them during this time,” was the message on their page.

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Two days after her death, an anonymous source talked to People magazine about Abigail. “Abigail was excited to be a big sister,” they said. “She was the brightest little spirit. Every time you were around her, your heart couldn’t help but shine. She had the sweetest laugh and the loveliest personality. She was very much like her mother.”

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Her loss was a tragedy. But unfortunately, there was one more tragedy to come. On May 17, 2018, news hit that Miles had lost her unborn baby. Her lawyer, Ben Rubinowitz, confirmed it to the New York Daily News. “At the time of the crash, Ruthie was pregnant and was severely injured,” he said. “This past Friday, Ruthie and Jonathan lost their baby, Sophia Rosemary Wong Blumenstein.”

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“The pain suffered by Ruthie and Jonathan is nearly impossible to fathom,” his statement went on. “As you might imagine, they are overwhelmed by the sadness of the deaths of their children. Ruthie and Jonathan are grateful for the support of their family and friends but wish and ask that their privacy be respected during this most trying time. Ruthie and Jonathan continue to seek God’s presence, mercy and peace.”

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The Broadway community again sent its love and sympathies to Miles and her husband. “Please send your prayers, love and energy to @RuthieAnnMiles and her family. Ruthie, we love you and lift you up in this time of such deep loss,” Tony award-winner Lindsay Mendez wrote on Twitter. “Please hold dear Ruthie and her family in your hearts. Just an unthinkable tragedy,” tweeted Broadway legend Audra McDonald.

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The woman whose reckless driving killed Abigail, Joshua and Sophia was indicted for criminally negligent homicide and manslaughter in May 2018. She had been told not to drive with her health problems, following a previous crash and multiple traffic violations but had done so anyway. Her bail was set at $75,000.

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In response to the tragedy, Brad Lander, a Brooklyn City Councilman, began creating legislation – the Reckless Driver Accountability Act – which would prevent such a thing from happening again. The new measures would include an annual dangerous driving study, an expansion of driver accountability programs and the possibility of impounding cars that gained too many violations.

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The city would also be redesigning the street where the children were killed, the New York Post reported on May 30, 2018. The driving lanes will be narrowed and a separate bike lane added. There were also plans for increasing the number of speed cameras, especially in school zones where children would be present.

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But it is such a terrible shame that the crackdown came too late for Miles and her family. The GoFundMe for them raised $426,420, an incredibly impressive sum, especially since the desired amount was only set to $5,000. But the children were still lost and Miles’ life remains in tatters. She possibly wouldn’t return to the stage for a while, reports said.

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Miles had been set to return to The King and I in London’s West End. But in June the show’s producers released a statement to Buzzfeed saying Miles had made no decision about it after what she’d suffered. “She is welcome to join the production at any point,” they said. Hopefully, the support she is receiving will help lessen the terrible load on her after the tragedy.

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