Broadway stars rallied behind one of their own this week, sending their support and helping to raise money for the families involved in a horrific car accident that killed two young children - raising over half a million dollars in just a day.
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Audra McDonald and Kristin Chenoweth were among those who shared their condolences as the tragic news broke that Tony award winning actress Ruthie Ann Miles lost her four-year-old daughter Abigail Blumenstein in an accident that also took the life of one-year-old Josh Lew.
Kristin Chenoweth was among the first to send a message to her fellow Broadway star, saying: "sending love to you and your family there are no words. Except you are loved."Read More
- Tony winning actress Ruthie Ann Miles' child killed in horrific New York crash as pregnant stage star injured
Audra McDonald described the news as "heart shattering", saying she was "sending you all the love and light in my heart", linking to a GoFundMe page set up for the family by The King and I's Company Manager, Jack Stephens.
D'Arcy Carden, who currently plays Janet on The Good Place, also shared the link and her condolences - as did many others - as Hamilton star and creator Lin-Manuel Miranda said he was "heartsick" for Ruthie and her family.
Raul Esparza, who only last month starred in the musical Chess with Ruthie Ann Miles at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, asked fans to pray for his friend was has "gone through something imaginable", and also linked to the page set up to help the Lew family.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the GoFundMe page for Ruthie Ann Miles has raised more than $345,000, while a similar page set up for Lauren Lew stood at $170,000 .
On Tuesday, an update to Ruthie's GoFundMe page stated: “Ruthie is no longer in critical condition, and is on the road to physical recovery. Also, thankfully, her unborn child is unharmed.”
Miles was walking from a church event with her friend Lauren Lew when a woman in a white Volvo ran a red light.
Dorothy Bruns, 44, of Staten Island ran over Abigail and dragged one-year-old Josh over 100 feet down the road while he was still in his pushchair - both children died.
After the children were mowed down at 12:40pm, in the neighborhood of Park Slope, paramedics tried to give Abigail CPR at the scene.
Her pregnant mum was also injured and was bleeding from her head when she desperately tried to reach her daughter.
"I ran to the [mom], telling her, 'Please, Miss, stay down,'" a shell-shocked witness told the New York Post .
"She tried getting up on her knees and fell back down."
Miles — who won a Tony award in 2015 for her role in The King and I — was rushed to hospital.
The mother of the boy who died also sustained injuries. A fifth victim was also taken with the mothers to the hospital.
Miles was due to join the cast of the London production of The King and I in June.
Earlier this year the stage star announced she and her husband Jonathan Blumenstein were expecting their second child.
The Mayor of New York Bill de Blasio said a full investigation is now underway.
"For [my wife] Chirlane and I obviously this is very personal. It occurred in our neighborhood, very, very close to our home," he said at City Hall.
"This loss of life is tragic and painful for all of us, particularly those of us who are parents."