Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Two young female teachers from Borough Park were killed in a car crash while sightseeing in Arizona on Monday night, devastating their Brooklyn Jewish community.
The dead women were identified as Hindy Spira, 27, and Raizel Morgenstern, 24, who were on a weeklong vacation in the rugged wilderness with two other Brooklyn teachers, Miriam Meyer and Suri Mayerovitz, 26, cops said.
Their rented Jeep Cherokee was broadsided by a tractor-trailer near Holbrook around 11:30 p.m. after turning into its path, police Lt. Jack Arend told The Post on Tuesday.
“They misjudged the distance between the tractor-trailer and themselves,” Arend said.
Morgenstern, who was driving, and Spira, who was in the front passenger seat, were pronounced dead at the scene, he said.
Meyer was taken to Flagstaff Medical Center and Mayerovitz to Little Colorado Medical Center in Winslow with unspecified injuries, Arend said.
Meyer’s dad, Rabbi Yanky “Jack” Meyer, is the founder of the Brooklyn-based Misaskim Organization, which assists victims of tragedies in the Jewish community. It arranged for a private jet to pick up the bodies.
The driver of the 18-wheeler, a 46-year-old man from Whiteriver, Ariz., suffered neck and back injuries.
The four women had rented the Jeep on Aug. 5 at Los Angeles International Airport. They then set off on their sightseeing jaunt, which included a stop at the Petrified Forest, a picturesque park covering almost 150 square miles east of Holbrook, Arend said.
Morgenstern was making a left turn from Route 377 onto Route 77 just south of Holbrook when she entered the path of the southbound tractor-trailer, which struck the Jeep on the left side.
Spira taught at the Bais Yaakov School in Brooklyn. Mayerovitz also teaches at Bais Yaakov. Morgenstern’s and Meyer’s schools were not known.
A fellow teacher who declined to give her name said Spira “was really sweet, very organized and capable.
“She ran the after-school program; she was very energetic. Her students loved her and her songs.”
Morgenstern’s brother said the four women were on a “very simple nature trip.”
“They wanted to travel, just to see Arizona, the Grand Canyon, just to see the sights, the desert, just seeing nature,” said the brother, who also declined to be named.
“She wasn’t the party type or the wild type,” he said of his sister. “She was just a good teacher, a kind person.”
Rabbi Meyer asked for prayers for the victims.
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