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Woman Dies After Drunk Officer Rear-Ends Her Car, NYPD Says

By Aidan Gardiner | April 24, 2017 8:39am | Updated on April 24, 2017 4:03pm

QUEENS — An drunk off-duty NYPD officer lost control of his Mercedes and rear-ended another car on the Van Wyck Expressway, killing the other car's driver and hurting its two passengers on Sunday morning, police said.

Neville Smith, 32, who is stationed in The Bronx's 48 Precinct, was driving south on the expressway when he lost control near the Rockaway Boulevard exit about 4 a.m. and hit a Honda Accord being driven by Vanessa Raghubar, 22, of Elmont, police said.

Raghubar, a Long Island law student, was the designated driver as her sister celebrated her 21st birthday and declined to even take part in a toast earlier that night before the deadly crash, according to The New York Post.

Raghubar's car was sent careening into a tree, a light pole and then came to a stop in the far right lane, police said. Raghubar was pronounced dead at Jamaica Hospital, while her 21-year-old female passenger in the backseat and a 20-year-old man in the front passenger's seat, were listed as stable condition at the same hospital, police said.

Smith, who's served the NYPD for more than five years, was arrested for vehicular assault, assault, driving while intoxicated and refusing to take a breath test, police said.

He hadn't been arraigned as of Monday morning, records show.