Canarsie Woman Dies In Fatal 3-Car Wreck, Driver Charged A Year Later

UPDATE: Following an investigation, police arrested and charged the driver, Justin Guillaume, 20, of Flatlands. Guillaume was charged with Manslaughter, Criminally Negligent Homicide, Reckless Endangerment, Reckless Driving, Traffic Device Violation Stop Sign, Traffic Device Violation Disobey Red Light, Speeding (3 Counts). He was arrested on Friday, January 17, 2020.

CANARSIE — A 63-year-old Flatlands real estate agent was killed Saturday afternoon in a crash not far from her office as she drove towards her Canarsie home from her Avenue N real estate office, police said. 

Fatal crash on Avenue J killed Canarsie woman. Todd Maisel/Bklyner
Fatal crash on Avenue J killed Canarsie woman. Todd Maisel/Bklyner

The woman, Patricia Roberts Lancaster, of East 94th Street in Canarsie, was pinned in her Chevy Malibu after being struck by a Nissan Maxima, Virginia plates, at the intersection of Avenue J and East 56th Street in Flatlands Brooklyn. Firefighters and Emergency Service police had to cut her from the vehicle and then performed CPR on her until she arrived by EMS at Mt. Sinai Hospital where she was pronounced dead.  

A third car, a Ford Fusion driven by Denali Holder of East Flatbush, was hit in the rear by the Maxima and was spun around, but the driver said he was not hurt. 

Passenger in the Maxima stayed and tried to help witnesses said.
Passenger in the Maxima stayed and tried to help witnesses said. Todd Maisel/Bklyner

“I don’t even know where I got hit, but I see this car is speeding down Avenue J and he hit me and spun me around and then hit the other car,” Holder explained. “I was just going to pick up my son and my wife, I’m glad they weren’t in the car.”  

One witness who declined to be identified said he had just crossed East 56th Street heading west on Avenue J when the crash occurred. 

“He was speeding towards Ralph Avenue and I turned around and he hit the woman’s car,” the witness said. “The driver and the passenger got out, but they stayed and tried to help. The driver was very upset.” 

Police detained the driver and the passenger, but no charges were filed as of press time. The driver hung his head in the back of a police car and gripped his face in anguish. He refused to comment on the crash. 

Driver in yellow hoodie, was anguished over the crash. Todd Maisel/Bklyner
Driver in the yellow hoodie was anguished over the crash. Todd Maisel/Bklyner

Lancaster worked as a real estate agent at Fillmore Real Estate on Avenue N in Flatlands Brooklyn for seven years. For sale signs from the office were in her back seat, along with a case of water for a potential open house. Co-workers said the single grandmother lived in Canarsie with her 84-year-old mother who she brought from Florida to live with her here. Her sister reportedly lives nearby. She is the mother of one daughter who lives in Florida and a step-daughter. She also has several grandchildren.  

Alex Cheri, a fellow real estate broker at Fillmore Real Estate, said “she always came to play, and she loved to dance – she would come into the office and hug and kiss me.” 

“She was so generous and pleasant – she was so happy to be working here for the few hours she could spend,” Cheri said. 

Kathy Turnbull, a worker at the office, said she would spend much of her free time helping her mother. 

Patricia Roberts Lancaster, the victim of a fatal crash in Canarsie. Photo: Todd Maisel/Bklyner
Patricia Roberts Lancaster, the victim of a fatal crash in Canarsie. Photo: Todd Maisel/Bklyner

She loved to dance, but she also loved her mom so we didn’t see her that much,” Turnbull said. “She was in the office yesterday and she was in really good spirits. It is beyond belief – at first, you can be happy, happy, and then 10 minutes later, she’s gone.” 

Police said the crash was still under investigation by the Highway 2 detectives. 

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Todd Maisel

Todd Maisel

Todd Maisel is an award-winning photographer with more than 35-years, specializing in breaking news. He currently serves as vice president of the New York Press Photographers. He was honored by the National Press Photographers Association and the Uniform Firefighters Association for saving the life of a firefighter he found in debris after the collapse of the World Trade Center, assisting in the rescue of an injured photographer, and for extensive coverage of the attack. Maisel is a graduate of NYU School of Journalism.

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