Luck seemed at first to be on Brittany Leith's side when she walked away from a crash on Nov. 29, relatively unscathed even though her Nissan struck a center median and flipped over onto its roof.
But her luck ran out minutes later when she ran back across three lanes of traffic to get her purse and was struck and killed by a passing car.
The reversal of fortunes happened in the span of a few minutes on Long Island's Southern State Parkway in New York, according to the New York Post. The 25-year-old Suffolk County woman was helped out of the overturned car and onto the shoulder of the road by passersby who witnessed the crash and stopped to help her before police arrived.
The good Samaritans begged Brittany not to risk the traffic just to retrieve her belongings, and Brittany's grandmother, 75-year-old Anna Leith, believes Brittany may have been suffering from a concussion or simply not thinking clearly after narrowly escaping with her life.
“I was told someone was there to help her out of the car, but she could have hit her head and been out of it,” Anna said. “Somebody should have held on to her and not let her run back into the street."
Brittany was heading home after leaving a friend's house nearby when the accident happened, Anna told the Post. Brittany and her daughter, Zoey, were living with Anna since Brittany's recent divorce.
“She has a 3-year-old daughter ... who doesn’t have a mother anymore,” Anna said. “She was the best mother in the world. She loved Zoey more than anything,”
A state trooper who arrived on the scene a few minutes later was also struck by a passing car, according to ABC 7 and the Post. The officer was still sitting in his patrol car when it was struck from behind. The trooper was treated for minor injuries, including bruises and back pain, according to Fox News.
The driver of the 2009 Chevrolet Malibu that struck and killed Brittany told police that he switched lanes to avoid the accident scene when he saw the flipped-over Nissan, but didn't see the Brittany. That driver, whose name was not released by police, wasn't impaired and was cooperating with troopers, police told Fox News.