BY THE VILLAGE SUN | Updated Oct. 6, ’23, 2:20 p.m.: Laraine “Lori” Kleinman, 76, the treasurer of the Jefferson Market Garden, was fatally struck by an SUV in front of her building on Tuesday and suffered severe head injuries. She died at Bellevue Hospital the following day.
Kleinman’s wife, Robin Felsher, also a Jefferson Market Garden board member, said Kleinman was hit around 6:30 p.m. by a black SUV turning left from W. 10th Street onto Greenwich Avenue and knocked to the roadbed, where she began to bleed profusely from her head from the blunt-force trauma of being struck.
A neighborhood activist and friend, who requested anonymity, said her understanding was Kleinman was crossing with the light — just steps away from the front door of her building, the Saint Germain co-op, at 33 Greenwich Ave. — when she was struck. She called Kleinman’s death “devastating.”
Police did not immediately provide information on Kleinman being struck by a motor vehicle at the location or the fact that she died or if the driver would face any charges. However, Felsher said she had seen the police report and that the driver was interviewed at the scene.
A day after this article’s publication online, the police press department issued a report to the media that said, in part, “…[I]nvestigation by the NYPD Highway District’s Collision Investigation Squad determined that a 2023 Chevrolet Suburban, operated by a 56-year-old female, was attempting a left turn onto northbound Greenwich Avenue from eastbound 10th Street, when the female pedestrian was crossing east to west in the vicinity of the north crosswalk within that intersection, and was struck by the front of the vehicle. The vehicle operator remained at the scene and was not injured. There are no arrests, and the investigation remains ongoing.”
Felsher also later added that she saw video of Kleinbaum being hit.
“She was blindsided,” she said.
A local police source said this kind of investigation typically takes time to conclude.
Kleinman’s building is located kitty-corner to her beloved Jefferson Market Garden.
Elizabeth Butson, the garden’s chairperson, called Kleinman “a loved, key board member of the garden.”
“We are in shock and sorrow,” Butson said.
Lori Kleinman grew up in Brooklyn and graduated from Roslyn High School, on Long Island, in 1965. She and her wife, Robin Felsher, were married for 12 years but were together for 23.
Felsher issued the following statement:
Laraine was a beloved wife, friend, sister, aunt, great-aunt and great-great-aunt. She enjoyed gathering with friends and family, cooking for her loved ones, singing show tunes and living life to the fullest every day.
Lori, who was married to her wife, who deeply loved her, for 12 years, was the brightest light that one could ever imagine. Everyone that knew her feels the same way. Her wife feels that Lori was the greatest blessing and gift that she ever received. Lori had the rare gift of being unflappable, grounded and nonjudgemental.
She had a career in heading up paper manufacturing in some of the largest publishing houses and ultimately ended up working for multiple nonprofits before retiring.
Lori served as treasurer on both her co-op board and the board of the Jefferson Market Garden.
She is remembered by her wife, Robin, her niece (Tammy) and nephew (Greg), her great-nieces (Alaina, Alison, Erika, Melissa and Rebecca), and her great-great-nieces and great-great-nephews (Olivia, Mia, Mason, Loren, Owen and Nicholas), as well her friends near and far. She will be greatly missed.
A graveside service will be held at Kensico, in Westchester, New York, on Sun., Oct. 8, at 11 a.m.