FORT GREENE — As they hold private services for Victoria Nicodemus in her hometown of Wappingers Falls, family members are questioning why the driver accused of killing her was released without bail.
Nicodemus, 30, was in Fort Greene doing holiday shopping with her boyfriend on Sunday when they were hit from behind by a driver who jumped the curb.
The man charged in her case, 39-year-old Marlon Sewell, was with driving without a license or insurance and released on his own recognizance the next day, police said.
“It’s a little disconcerting,” said Nicodemus’ brother Hank Miller. “Right now they’re treating this like a traffic case.”
Sewell was headed east on Fulton Street about 5:26 p.m. when he swerved right to avoid another vehicle and barreled onto the curb near South Portland Place, hitting Nicodemus, her 37-year-old boyfriend and a 75-year-old woman, the NYPD said.
Nicodemus, of Brooklyn Heights, was knocked to the ground, video shows. She was taken to Brooklyn Hospital where she was later pronounced dead.
“It’s difficult, we have our moments,” Miller said Friday as family and friends attended her viewing. “But there are times when we start thinking of her and we start cracking up thinking of funny times.”
Miller said Nicodemus’ funeral is scheduled for Saturday. While the family is just focused on getting through the weekend, he said they hope to work with lawmakers to push for tougher penalties for drivers involved in pedestrian deaths.
“I’m really pushing them to not leave any stone uncovered with this investigation,” Miller said. “Anything that can up the charges and the severity of any sentence.”
Sewell had been cited for speeding through school zones three times last month, according to court documents. He was also arrested in March for driving without a license.
Sewell, who appeared visibly shaken at the crime scene, told an officer at the precinct that his vehicle had a carbon monoxide leak, which made sometimes made him lightheaded, prosecutors said during his arraignment in Brooklyn Criminal Court. He's due in court again on Jan. 11.
Attorney information for Sewell was not immediately available.
Meanwhile, a representative for Council Member Laurie Cumbo announced at this week’s Community Board 2 meeting that her office is planning an emergency town hall for next week to address pedestrian deaths like Nicodemus’. The time and location of the town hall have not yet been released.
Nicodemus’ boyfriend and the 75-year-old woman were taken to the hospital in stable condition and later released.