2015-08-12 / Features


Defendant Allegedly Drove At High Rate Of Speed, Weaving In And Out Of Lanes; Two Officers and Long Island Couple Suffer Injuries

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown today announced that a teenage Cambria Heights motorist has been charged with reckless driving, endangerment and other charges for weaving in and out of traffic at a high rate of speed yesterday on the Cross Island Parkway and striking two vehicles – an empty yellow mini school bus and a Honda occupied by an Oceanside, Long Island, couple in their seventies.
 The initial crash allegedly caused the Honda, which was traveling in the middle lane, to strike the center cement median, causing an unmarked NYPD minivan to strike the Honda.  The Honda then rolled up onto the hood of the minivan and flipped multiple times before landing upside down in the roadway.  The Honda’s occupants and the two police officers were transported to local Queens hospitals for treatment of the injuries they suffered in the crash.
 District Attorney Brown said, “The defendant is accused of driving at an excessive speed and changing lanes without regard to his safety or that of the motorists around him.  As a result of his alleged actions, four people –including two police officers – were injured and the defendant now faces serious criminal charges.”
 The District Attorney identified the defendant as Matthew Robinson, 19, of 231st Street in the Cambria Heights section of Queens.  Robinson is presently awaiting arraignment in Queens Criminal Court on a criminal complaint charging him with first-degree reckless endangerment, leaving the scene without reporting personal injury and several other infractions and violation of the state’s vehicle and traffic laws – driving on roadways lanes for traffic and speed restrictions.  If convicted, Robinson faces up to seven years in prison.
 District Attorney Brown said that, according to the criminal charges, two NYPD officers were traveling in an unmarked minivan on the Cross Island Parkway near the Jamaica Avenue exit just after 3:00 p.m. on August 11, 2015, when they observed Robinson operating a 2009 BMW at a high rate of speed and weaving in and out of lanes. It is alleged that Robinson, who was speeding in the right lane, attempted to swerve into the middle lane between two vehicles when there was clearly not enough room to safely make the lane change.  Robinson allegedly struck a yellow minibus, which was in the right lane, and a Honda, which was in the middle lane, causing the Honda to veer into the left lane and strike the center cement median.
 It is additionally alleged that the NYPD vehicle then struck the Honda, which rolled up onto the hood of the minivan and flipped multiple times before landing upside down, leaving the 77-year-old driver hanging upside down in the driver’s seat, bleeding from his nose and mouth and with bumps and bruises to his body, and his 73-year-old wife bleeding from a large laceration to her head.
 It is further alleged that Robinson was observed exiting the BMW and fleeing the location with a backpack without exchanging any identifying information.  Robinson allegedly returned approximately five minutes later without the backpack and stated, in sum and substance, “I’m sorry.  I got scared.”
 The Honda couple were transported to a local Queens hospital for treatment of their injuries.  The two officers who suffered back, neck and wrist injuries were also transported to the hospital for treatment.
 The case is being prosecuted by District Attorney Brown’s Trial Division, which is under the supervision of  Senior Executive Assistant District Attorney for Trials James C. Quinn and Deputy Executive Assistant District Attorney for Trials Laura M. Henigman.
 It should be noted that a criminal complaint is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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