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A chance to escape by Annie Correal
 

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  • The night before this photograph was taken, a series of events unfolded, right here, on this street in Brownsville, Brooklyn, with the implacable motion of a movie script.

    A man was stabbed a few blocks aways. He jumped into his SUV, trying to make it to the hospital. He was badly wounded, though, and as he sped down this street he lost control. His car jumped the curb and barreled toward this building, where a group of kids were sitting on the step, outside the door.

    One of the girls stood up and pushed the other kids inside. When the SUV slammed into the building, the girl was hit and killed. The driver was killed, too.

    You can see the bent metal of the door, and next to it, the improvised altar her neighbors made for her. Kira Goddard was 13. In the photos on the wall she appears at different stages of her short life: in a Santa Claus hat, next to a Christmas tree, in a gymnast's uniform, in the graduate's cap and gown.

    The woman walking by, pulling her daughter along, told me she used to babysit Kira when she was a little girl.

    "She told them to run," she said. "She didn't have a chance to escape."

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