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Drunk Driver Who Struck Herald Square Pedestrians Pleads Guilty, DA Says

By Maya Rajamani | December 4, 2015 3:43pm
 The driver struck five pedestrians after driving the wrong way on 34th Street, authorities said.
The driver struck five pedestrians after driving the wrong way on 34th Street, authorities said.
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MIDTOWN SOUTH — A drunk woman high on crack who struck and injured five pedestrians in Herald Square last year pleaded guilty to assault in the crash, prosecutors said on Thursday.

Stella Mednik, 35, drove the wrong way on 34th Street last December after fleeing the scene of a vehicle she crashed into when crossing Sixth Avenue, hit a second vehicle while trying to get into the correct lane on 34th Street and plowed into five pedestrians on a sidewalk, one of whom was pinned against a building, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said.

“As a former lawyer, this defendant’s blatant disregard for not only our city’s laws, but public safety, is particularly egregious,” Vance said. “Miraculously, no one was killed, but five innocent pedestrians were injured, including multiple with broken bones, by Ms. Mednik’s extraordinarily reckless decision to drive while under the influence of alcohol and crack cocaine.”

Two pedestrians hit by Mednik broke bones, while the others suffered back and neck pain, prosecutors said.


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At the time of the crash, which happened around 10 p.m. on Dec. 10, 2014, police found two pipes with traces of crack on them in Mednik’s car and discovered she was driving with a suspended license, prosecutors said.

Mednik, a Brooklyn resident who was driving a rented silver Mustang convertible with a male passenger in the car, hit the pedestrians on the sidewalk before crashing into a Forever 21 store

The pedestrians, along with the driver and her passenger, were taken to Bellevue Hospital after the incident.

Mednik had previously worked as an immigration lawyer before having her license suspended in 2011 for failing to keep separate personal and business financial accounts, an error she attributed to mental-health issues and the medications she was taking to treat them, according to court records cited by other outlets at the time.

She pleaded guilty to charges including assault and vehicular assault in the second degrees, as well as aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree, according to prosecutors.

Her sentencing is expected to take place on Dec. 21, the DA said.