[Updated.] 3:59 a.m. EST: It is with great sadness that Matzav.com reports the tragic passing of Pesha Leah Azoula a”h and 9-year-old Avrohom Dovid Liberow z”l following a terrible car crash late last night in Pennsylvania. Rav Zalman Liberow, father of Avrohom Dovid, is in critical condition. All are asked to daven for Rav Schneur Zalman ben Dabrusha l’refuah sheleimah.
Rav Liberow, son of Rav Chaim Shmuel Menachem Mendel Liberow of London, is director of Chabad of Flatbush, located on Ocean Avenue, which he founded in 1992 with his wife, Mrs. Chana, who is a daughter of Rav Zusha Posner of Eretz Yisroel. Mrs. Liberow was in the vehicle with him last night, along with several other children, who are all, boruch Hashem, okay.
The Liberows were on their way back home from an out-of-town simcha in Grand Rapids, Michigan, when the multi-vehicle accident occurred on Interstate 80 in Venango County in Pennsylvania. KDKA-TV reports that the crash took place on the eastbound side of the highway around the Clintonville exit, about 55 miles north of Pittsburgh.
Officials say that a tractor-trailer and at least one other vehicle were involved in the accident, and three other separate minor crashes also happened in the same area.
The crash occurred when the driver of the vehicle lost control shortly before 10 p.m. Emergency officials say freezing rain created poor driving conditions in the area. Rabbi Mendel Sasonkin, who is the director of Chabad in nearby Akron, Ohio, immediately arrived at the scene to assist the family. Tehillim was said for Avrohom Dovid and his father
until the news arrived that Avrohom Dovid’s pure neshama was taken from him. Rav Liberow was rushed to a hospital, where he remains in a coma, fighting for his life.
Pesha Leah Azoulay, of Crown Heights, was traveling back to New York with the Liberow family from her friend’s wedding in Grand Rapids. Born in Oak Park, Michigan, to the Roetter family, Pesha Leah was known for her kind smile, practical advice and enthusiasm. She worked as a preschool and Hebrew School teacher for Chabad of Basking Ridge, New Jersey. In 2008, she married Mendy Azoulay of Paris, France.
The niftarim are being transported to New York. Levaya details will be posted as they become available.
Umacha Hashem dimah mei’al kol ponim.