2015-04-29 / Front Page

Astoria Man Paralyzed In Alcohol-Fueled Crash

By Liz Goff
A 21-year-old East Elmhurst woman is facing multiple felony charges after she mowed down and partially paralyzed an Astoria man while driving in a drunken stupor, authorities said.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Gisel Carchi allegedly shared a bowl of an alcoholic beverage with a friend and then got behind the wheel of her Nissan sedan on April 14.

A Complaint filed by prosecutors in Queens Criminal Court states Carchi lost control of the vehicle at about 4 p.m. on April 14 and jumped a curb at the intersection of Vernon Boulevard and 31st Avenue, where she slammed the Nissan into a parked car and struck passerby Yani Arvanionopoulous, 37.

Surveillance footage from a nearby business captured Carchi backing off the sidewalk after striking Arvainopoulous and jumping an opposite curb, barely missing another pedestrian, the complaint states.

Carchi then struck two other parked cars before speeding away from the scene. Police at the 114th Precinct responding to 911 calls caught up with Carchi moments later and brought her to the 112th Precinct for arrest processing, authorities said.

Police said Carchi showed a .20 alcohol level when she was issued a Breathalyzer test shortly after her arrest. She did not suffer any injuries as a result of the crash, authorities said.

Arvaninopoulous, of Astoria, was taken to a nearby hospital where doctors said he suffered paralysis of his left leg, a shattered right knee, a broken right ankle, back and pelvis injuries in the crash. He remains listed in critical condition with non-life threatening injuries, authorities said.

Carchi was charged with first-and-second-degree vehicular assault, first-degree reckless endangerment, leaving the scene of an accident without reporting serious physical injury, criminal mischief and operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Carchi is facing up to 12 years in jail, if convicted.

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