Home News Sister mourns NYC architect who died after hit-and-run; driver’s charges upgraded

Sister mourns NYC architect who died after hit-and-run; driver’s charges upgraded


The driver in a Brooklyn hit-and-run that ultimately killed a promising architect 16 months later is being charged in the death — but the upgraded charges bring little solace to the victim’s sister, who continues to question the driver’s callous decision to abandon the seriously injured woman on the roadway.

Mimi Silver Liebenberg suffered severe and permanent brain damage in the crash at the intersection of Pacific St. and Buffalo Ave. in Crown Heights on Aug. 14, 2022.

The driver, Clossie Spencer, was looking for a parking spot when he backed into the victim, who was crossing Pacific St. in the crosswalk, the Daily News previously reported.

The NYPD Highway Patrol investigates after a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle which fled the scene on Pacific Street and Buffalo Avenue in Brooklyn, New York City on Sunday, August 14, 2022.
The NYPD Highway Patrol investigates after a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle which fled the scene on Pacific St. and Buffalo Ave. in Brooklyn on Aug. 14, 2022.

Surveillance footage recovered from the nearby Kingsborough Houses show Spencer getting out of the car, looking at the seriously injured woman and getting back in before he drove off.

Liebenberg’s sister recalled her mother watching the horrific footage, who said the victim looked both ways before she crossed and was “more than cautious.”

“She looked both ways on a one-way street,” said the sibling, Creecy Richardson-Creef .“She did everything right and this man did everything wrong.”

Cops caught up to Spencer in February 2023 and initially charged him with assault, reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident involving an injury.

“After he hit her in reverse going as fast as he was going, then got out, saw what he had done and drove away — that’s still a dangerous person whether or not he’s in a car, in my opinion,” Richardson-Creef told The News on Wednesday.

After the crash, Liebenberg could no longer speak, communicate or walk unassisted. Her family moved her from facility to facility specializing in brain injuries in hopes of a breakthrough.

She underwent three consecutive brain surgeries before she died in December at age 38.

“My mom and I were with her on her last day and she went peacefully,” said Richardson-Creef. “It was the first time I had felt any peace in 500 days.”

In light of Liebenberg’s death, police rearrested Spencer, 31, and charged him with manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, reckless endangerment and failure to exercise due care.

“It doesn’t change the fact that my sister died three days after Christmas as a direct result of three back-to-back brain surgeries because she was hit by this car,” Richardson-Creef said of the upgraded charges. “There’s no amount of sentence that will change the outcome, that will bring my sister back or change the suffering my family has endured.”

Following an arraignment in Brooklyn Criminal Court, Spencer was held on a $10,000 cash bail or $20,000 bond, which he posted, records show.

Liebenberg grew up in a small town in North Carolina and was working her “dream job” as an architect before the crash, Richardson-Creef previously told The News.

“Even though this man, of course he’ll never have a license to drive again, will that make the community more safe?” Richardson-Creef asked Wednesday. “To see what he had done and just drive away and leave her that way is a very different crime, to me, than accidentally hitting someone with your car.”

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