Drunk driver in fatal BQE crash charged with manslaughter

The Brooklyn Queens Expressway’s triple cantilever is in dire straits, and a new law seeks to reduce damage to the crumbling structure by strictly enforcing overweight truck restrictions.
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A 22-year-old woman faces up to 15 years behind bars for allegedly crashing her car on the Brooklyn Queens Expressway while drunkenly speeding, killing one of her passengers. 

Long Island resident Chelsea Rety was careening along the highway at 102 miles per hour when she lost control of the car and slammed into a barrier near the Flushing Avenue exit in Williamsburg, according to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office. 

Authorities rushed to the scene just after midnight on Jan. 22 and found Rety, along with 23-year-old Saharath Yuvanavattana in the front passenger seat, and a 24-year-old man in the back, all with various injuries. 

Paramedics rushed Yuvanavattana to Bellevue Hospital, where doctors pronounced her dead. Rety suffered a broken arm in the crash, and the male passenger sustained non-life threatening wounds, according to authorities. 

Prosecutors claim that the driver had a blood alcohol content of 0.09, which is just above the legal limit of 0.08.

“This defendant made a terrible decision to allegedly get behind the wheel of a car after drinking alcohol and traveling at an incredibly high rate of speed,” said Kings County District Attorney Eric Gonzalez in a statement. “She showed complete disregard for the safety of her passengers and everyone using our roadways. I am committed to keeping our streets and highways safe and will now seek to hold this defendant accountable.

Rety was arraigned on a slew of charges — including manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, criminally negligent manslaughter, and third-degree assault — by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Matthew Sciarrin, who released the defendant on $75,000 bail. Her next court appearance is set for June 2.