A Brooklyn driver plunged his car decorated with two hand grenade stickers into the heavily polluted Gowanus Canal Monday morning after fleeing from a nearby hit-and-run, police sources said.
Matthew Murphy, 36, was arrested by police after managing to escape his sinking Audi sedan in the waters on Degraw Street near Bond Street.
Murphy allegedly struck a 41-year-old woman at Degraw and Court Street as she was putting her 1-year-old baby into her Toyota Camry, police sources said.
She suffered a foot injury, sources added.
Murphy then fled three blocks down Degraw but ran out of room on the icy, dead-end street. The car plummeted into the water around 11:15 a.m., sources said.
“What caught my attention was the speed of the car. It was going around 70, 80 mph,” said Maurice Deas, 36, who works on the set for the TV show “The Americans.”
Murphy was able to open the door – even as the car started to sink – and managed to escape, with Deas and another man helping him out of the freezing water.
Deas said Murphy, who was wet up to the ankles, was visibly shaken up.
“He was a little out of it. He kept saying he was an Iraqi war veteran,” said Deas. “He was a little delirious. He kept saying the ice made him slip. He was trying to stop.”
Deas said it was lucky there weren’t any pedestrians at the intersection of Hoyt and Degraw streets because the driver blew through a stop sign on the one-way street.
“Honestly, I didn’t see any brake lights. We have our guys out here all the time,” said Deas. “If they had been out here, somebody would’ve gotten badly hurt, like seriously hurt.”
A police source said the earlier hit-and-run didn’t appear to be serious and that the woman and child were taken to Methodist Hospital as a precautionary measure.
The source also said Murphy didn’t appear to brake at all before he took a dive in the drink.
“He was trying to evade police after an accident. He wasn’t familiar with the area and that’s how this whole thing happened,” a police source said.
The driver was seen limping at the scene, his car still partially submerged in the choppy waters.
He was charged with leaving the scene of an accident and reckless endangerment, sources said.