‘Wrong Way’ Van Slams Into Car On LIE
A drunk driver speeding the wrong way on the Long Island Expressway on July 5 slammed his car into an airport shuttle van, critically injuring himself and a 64-year-old Long Island grandfather.
Dave Richards, 30, of Hempstead slammed into the van near the Utopia Parkway exit at about 6:09 a.m. Richards had a blood alcohol level of .19, more than twice the legal limit. His silver Mercedes burst into flames after the impact, as did the van, police said.
Firefighters pulled Richards and the van driver, John Rey, from the burning vehicles. Both were taken to New York Hospital of Queens where they are listed in critical condition. Rey suffered two shattered legs and severe multiple internal injuries, police sources said.
Investigators are trying to determine how Richards managed to get his car onto the LIE in the wrong direction, heading west in an eastbound lane. Richards was charged with reckless endangerment, driving while intoxicated and driving with a suspended license.
Dad Busted In Fireworks Show
A 34-year-old Corona dad was busted on July 4 after he set off illegal fireworks as his young daughter looked on, police said.
Cops said Johnny Vargas was setting off fireworks in front of a crowd at 97th Street and 45th Avenue at about 10:10 p.m. on July 4 as he held his daughter’s hand.
Eyewitnesses told police Vargas even let his daughter hold a Roman candle, police sources said.
Vargas was charged with possession of illegal fireworks, setting off the explosives and endangering the welfare of a child.
Teens Charged In Rego Park Death
Two Queens teenagers are facing additional charges this week in the death of a 21-year-old Rego Park man, authorities said.
Queens police officials and the city Medical Examiner’s office last week confirmed that Alejandro Ramos, 21, died from injuries he suffered during a June 22 assault on Woodhaven Boulevard.
The Medical Examiner ruled the death a homicide, stating the victim suffered blunt force injuries to his head that led to his death on June 24.
Martine Vasco, 16, and a 15-year-old accomplice were originally charged with third-degree assault and harassment following the incident. Prosecutors last week charged Vasco with second-degree manslaughter.
Vasco, who was charged as a juvenile in Queens Family Court, is due back in court on August 9.
Police sources said Vasco has a history of one arrest in March 2010 for disorderly conduct.