A 52-year-old driver faces charges after causing multiple collisions along 31st Avenue in Flushing, striking multiple vehicles and two pedestrians—an 8-year-old girl and her grandmother—before attempting to flee the scene.
According to police, the incident occurred on June 28, at the intersection of 68th Street and 31st Avenue, where they observed the defendant, Alexandra Lopez of Sunnyside, sitting in the driver’s seat of a 2020 Toyota RAV 4 with the engine running.
Responding officers also identified a young girl who was crying and screaming underneath the front of a parked van nearby with blood on her face, head, and clothing. She also had scratches on her feet.
Her grandmother, Maria Polazzo, 74, was observed limping and had similar scratches on her feet. She informed the police that they were crossing the street when a red vehicle hit them, causing the young girl to fall under the van.
Both victims were immediately transported to a local Queens hospital where the young girl continues to be treated for a broken nose, head trauma, and liver damage. Her grandmother is being treated for swelling to her legs.
According to another eyewitness, Myosha Watson, after Lopez allegedly struck the two victims, she continued driving. Watson claims the defendant crossed the double yellow line twice and struck two additional vehicles, including her own 2018 Honda. According to the court documents, Lopez at no time attempted to stop until she crashed into a 2020 Hyundai.
Lopez was subsequently arrested and transported to the 112th precinct, where police administered a breathalyzer exam after they observed an odor of alcohol on her breath, bloodshot watery eyes, and swaying on her feet.
Based on the results, she had a blood alcohol content of .196, more than double the legal limit of .08.
“As alleged, the defendant drove drunk and, in doing so, endangered the lives of two pedestrians and other motorists on the road,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said in a statement. “Few choices are more selfish than taking the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A young girl is now seriously injured, and her grandmother is recovering from trauma sustained from the car crash. The defendant will face justice in our courts for her callous actions.”
Lopez was arraigned on June 30 before Queens Criminal Court Judge Marty J. Lentz, on a 13-count complaint charging her with vehicular assault in the first and second degree, two counts of second-degree assault, three counts of leaving the scene of an incident without reporting, four counts of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and reckless driving.
She has been ordered to return to court on Aug. 18, 2022. If convicted Lopez faces up to 11 years in prison.