Police in New York took a 36-year-old woman into custody in the early morning hours of March 13 after a two-car accident claimed the life of a Long Island man. The woman has been charged with driving under the influence, but authorities say that she will likely face additional charges as the investigation into the accident develops. The 59-year-old Island Park man killed in the crash was said to be returning home from his shift as a supervisor at a Smithtown medical facility.
According to a Suffolk County Police Department report, the woman crossed into the path of oncoming traffic as she proceeded northbound on Route 25A in Smithtown shortly after midnight. Her vehicle then struck an oncoming Toyota sedan head-on. The driver of the Toyota was pronounced dead after being transported to a nearby hospital. The woman suffered only minor injuries in the accident. Responding police officers arriving at the scene soon suspected that they were dealing with a drunk driving situation.
Officers say that the woman admitted to consuming wine at a nearby restaurant with a friend before getting behind the wheel. Standard field sobriety tests reportedly indicated that she was intoxicated. Prosecutors say that initial testing performed by police officers revealed that the woman had a blood alcohol level much higher than the .08 percent New York legal limit.
Drunk drivers may face severe criminal penalties in New York when they are involved in an accident that causes injury or death. A personal injury attorney may also pursue civil remedies against intoxicated motorists by filing a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the dependent family members of those killed in drunk driving accidents. This litigation could seek compensation for funeral expenses, medical costs and lost income. If an impaired motorist is incarcerated, a lawsuit may be brought against their insurance provider or estate.