Update: The suspect was arraigned Wednesday. The full statement from the Westchester DA’s office is below the story.
The Queens woman that drove 6.4 miles the wrong way on I-95 in the early hours of Sunday, was drunk, according to the Westchester DA’s office, and has been charged with 2nd degree manslaughter.
Her Chevrolet minivan crashed head on with a car, and a passenger in that car was killed. The accident happened just south of the toll plaza in Larchmont.
The complaint filed Monday in New Rochelle City Court, alleges Tanisha Gomez, 26 was “in an intoxicated condition” when her minivan collided with a car before dawn Sunday.
Reginald Lee, 29, of East Orange, N.J., a passenger in the car, a Nissan Sentra, was killed. Mark Toppin, 29, of Elizabeth, N.J., the driver, was in fair condition Tuesday at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, according to the Daily News.
This comes on the second anniversary of a similar crash that killed eight people on the Taconic Parkway, about 12 miles from Sunday’s crash. The driver in that wrong-way crash, Diane Schuler of West Babylon, was killed along with four children in the minivan she was driving and three men in a car she hit.
Investigators determined that Schuler was intoxicated and had been smoking marijuana. A documentary about that case aired Monday night on HBO.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 27, 2011
Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore announced that Tanisha Gomez (DOB 06/18/85) of 132-39 88th Street, Apt. 1A, Ozone Park, New York, was arraigned on a Felony Complaint today charging her with:
- one count of Manslaughter in the Second Degree, a class “C” Felony,
for recklessly causing the death of another person.
On July 24, 2011 at approximately 4:31 am, the defendant, while in an intoxicated condition, operated a 2011 Chevrolet HHR vehicle northbound in the southbound lanes of I-95 in New Rochelle for at least 6.4 miles until her vehicle struck another vehicle.
The defendant, and the driver and the front seat passenger in the victim’s vehicle were all extricated from their vehicles with the assistance of emergency crews from New Rochelle who responded to the accident scene along with New York State Police.
The front seat passenger in the victim vehicle, Reginald Lee, was later pronounced dead at Sound Shore Medical Center.
The driver of the victim vehicle remains hospitalized.
The defendant was arraigned at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx where she is being treated for her injuries.
Bail was set at $50,000 cash or bond.
New York State Police continue to investigate. Toxicology test results are pending.
The defendant’s next court date is August 8, 2011 in New Rochelle City Court.
She faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in state prison if convicted.