New York Injury Lawyer News: Two Wrong-Way Crashes Occur on Long Island Highways

11/24/2010 // New York, NY, US // New York City Accident Lawyer // Manhattan automobile accident Lawyer Jonathan C. Reiter

New York, NY (New York Injury Lawyer News)—Within a span of just 24 hours, two separate wrong-way head-on collisions occurred on Long Island highways, both of which are believed to have involved alcohol. The first accident occurred on the Long Island Expressway just after 5 a.m. Monday, Nov. 15, 2010, leaving two motorists with non-life threatening injuries. The second crash happened on the Northern State Parkway just after midnight. That particular collision caused a 9-year NYPD officer and father of three to suffer fatal injuries, according to information provided by the Long Island Press and Wall Street Journal. “This is just another tragic reminder of the deadly danger of drunk driving,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said with regard to the Northern State Parkway wreck.

Katelyn O’Connell, 22, was driving her car westbound in the eastbound lanes of the LIE when it slammed head-on into an oncoming vehicle. The collision happened in North Hills, N.Y., and spurred officials to close the road for nearly six hours as preliminary investigations were conducted. Both O’Connell and a 27-year-old driver from Glendale, who remained unidentified, were transported to area hospitals to be treated for non-life threatening injuries. From her hospital bed Wednesday, O’Connell pleaded not guilty to charges of driving while intoxicated, reckless endangerment and second-degree assault in connection with the crash.

The second wrong-way head-on crash happened shortly after midnight in Dix Hills, N.Y. Reports indicated Michael Bowen was intoxicated when he drove his van westbound in the eastbound lanes of the Northern State Parkway. Bowen’s van consequently slammed into a vehicle, being driven by 35-year-old off-duty NYPD officer, Andre Menzies. Menzies, husband and father of three, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. Bowen, who suffered minor injuries in the crash, was subsequently arrested. He was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, as well as reckless driving. At his arraignment, Bowen was ordered to be held on a $350,000 cash bond.

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics, 12,998 traffic fatalities involved a drunk driver during the year 2007. Of those deaths, 10,792 were the intoxicated driver of his/her passenger, while 2,206 victims were pedestrians or occupants of other vehicles. In connection with the recent DUI-related accidents, Bloomberg maintained, “Make no mistake about it, we are determined to stop drunk driving now—before the holiday season gets into full swing. We don’t want any more of this kind of carnage that we saw this weekend.”

Leading New York City auto accident attorney Jonathan C. Reiter states if you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a car crash, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages. With more than thirty years of experience litigating the multifaceted claims of vehicular accident victims and their families, contacting New York injury lawyer Jonathan C Reiter with regard to your particular personal injury or wrongful death case may help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

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