Tragedy for 2 B’klyn Families: Auto accidents claim 7 By MICHAEL O. ALLEN and PATRICE O’SHAUGHNESSY, Daily News Staff Writers

Sunday, April 22, 2001

The Stewarts and the Shetmans were two close-knit families living at opposite ends of Brooklyn who apparently never knew each other. One is African-American, the other Jewish immigrants from Ukraine.

Both families believed in being kind neighbors, keeping nice homes and rearing good children. And yesterday, both were left ravaged by car crashes that happened within two hours of each other on Friday night.

Victims of Friday’s tragic crash included Auber Stewart…

City cop Craig Stewart and his brother Cedric grieved in Crown Heights over the loss of their parents, sister, brother and aunt, who died when their minivan crashed into a bus at St. John’s Place and Brooklyn Ave. as they returned from a wake in Harlem.

In Gravesend, Aleksandr Shetman was devastated by the deaths of his only children, 15-year-old Inna and 10-year-old Svetlana, and the critical injuries to his wife, Rima. All three were mowed down when a careening Porsche mounted the curb as they walked on Ocean Parkway about 6:30 p.m..

The light-haired girls were walking with their mother and father after shopping. Inna was a student at Edward R. Murrow High School; Svetlana attended Public School 216.

Shetman, a Manhattan hotel employee who came to the United States about 10 years ago, lived with his wife and daughters and grandparents in a two-family house on E. Second St.

“They spoke Russian, so we would just say hello to each other, but they were very nice people,” said Frances Felice, who lives across the street. “They were such nice, pretty girls. I would see the mother take the little girl to school every day. I feel very sad for them.”

…and her daughter, Lorraine.

The accident occurred when Issac Chehebar, 20, of Avenue T, somehow lost control of a silver Porsche Carrera as he traveled north on Ocean Parkway and jumped the pedestrian median curb. The car struck and killed Inna instantly. Svetlana died yesterday at Coney Island Hospital. Their mother was in critical condition at Lutheran Medical Center.

Anthony Abbate Jr., 15, also was struck by the car and suffered a broken leg.

Chehebar, who tested negative for alcohol, was not immediately charged.

Meanwhile, neighbors of James Stewart, 75; his wife, Auber, 72; their daughter. Lorraine, 49, and son, Melvin, 52, stood stunned on President St., where, on sunny days, James and Auber were a fixture on the bench outside their renovated brick house.

A stoic Cedric Stewart emerged from the home to say the remaining family would “stick together and hang tough.” He described the Stewart clan as “a close-knit family, closer than most.”

Craig Stewart, 42, is an 18-year veteran officer assigned to Brooklyn Central Booking.

The Stewarts and an aunt, Zora Goins, 75, were killed at 8:20 p.m. Friday when the 1996 Dodge minivan Lorraine Stewart was driving sped through a red light and plowed into the side of a city bus.

Several people on the B45 bus suffered minor injuries, police said.

Accident investigators said Lorraine Stewart may have been racing to Kings County Hospital because her mother has a history of heart trouble and may have suffered an attack. An autopsy of Auber Stewart did not confirm that was the case, a spokeswoman for the medical examiner said.

There was no sign the van had mechanical failure, but none of the van’s occupants was wearing a seat belt, police said.

Nathan Perry, 44, who lives next door, called the Stewarts “a family from heaven. They are the type of neighbors you want living next door to you. They are close-knit.”

With Tom Raftery and Suzanne Rozdeba