NEW YORK — They were newlyweds barely into their 20s, looking forward to the joy of having their first child, when the unthinkable happened.
As their cab sped to the woman's doctor through Brooklyn, just after midnight Sunday, it was struck broadside by a gray BMW sedan, whose driver and passenger then abandoned their own wrecked car and vanished into the night.
The expectant parents, Raizy and Nathan Glauber, both 21, were killed. But their baby boy survived, delivered prematurely in what friends and family hailed as a precious gift.
"They were always glowing," one family member, Sarah Gluck, said of the couple on Sunday. "Everybody wants the baby. It's going to have a lot of love."
In the aftermath of the horrifying crash, friends rushed to the hospital to visit the newborn tenaciously clinging to life, then on to the synagogue for the funeral of his parents. Even for a community accustomed to burying its dead quickly, it was a shattering avalanche of events.
The police said the cab, a black 2008 Toyota Camry, was traveling west when it was struck on the driver's side by the 2010 BMW. It was not clear if one or both of the drivers were at fault, the police said; the crash was still under investigation. The driver of the BMW is expected to face a charge of fleeing the scene. The cab driver, Pedro Nunez Delacruz, 32, was treated and released.
Neighbors in the couple's tight-knit Orthodox Jewish community said the couple were part of the Satmar Hasidic sect and had been paired by a matchmaker before marrying about a year ago.
Hours later, a solid river of black-hatted, black-coated men packed a street from curb to curb, as the two coffins draped in black velvet were carried to the synagogue for the funeral.
"It's very hard for me," Raizy Glauber's father, Yitzchok Silberstein, told the mourners. "But I have to say that whatever God does is right, even if I do not understand, he has a plan."