A 55-year-old California man killed late Tuesday in a car crash in New Hyde Park had just left his sick mother's hospital room when a 17-year-old impaired driver struck his rental vehicle, his family said Friday.
Sir Pierre Richard Antoine is "the best brother that anybody would want to have. You can depend on him, you can trust him, talk to him," his sister Erdwine Antoine, 58, of Elmont, said.
Family members said their mother, Marguerite, who lives in Queens, was being treated for pancreatitis at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park for about a week.
Antoine, who lived in Richmond, California, was heading to his sister's house in Elmont, where he and his family had been staying since they arrived on Long Island on Aug. 14, when he was killed in the crash at the intersection of Covert and Second Avenues.
Antoine's 38-year-old wife, Marta, was found unconscious and his 6-year-old daughter fractured her leg, police said. The two remain at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, where the wife's injuries include five broken ribs and a punctured left lung, Erdwine Antoine said.
Deepak Kumar, who was heading west on Second Avenue, ran a stop sign and struck the driver's side and rear passenger doors of Antoine's vehicle, which was southbound on Covert, according to court papers obtained Friday.
Kumar, a 2014 New Hyde Park Memorial High graduate, showed "signs and symptoms of intoxication, in the form of glassy eyes, thick speech and the odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath when speaking," according to court papers.
Kumar was arraigned Friday at his bedside at Nassau University Medical Center on charges of second-degree vehicular manslaughter, a felony, and driving while ability impaired by drugs.
Neither court papers nor authorities specified the type of drugs.
Kumar pleaded not guilty and is due back in court Friday. Nassau County District Court Judge Joy Watson set Kumar's bail at $750,000 bond or $500,000 cash.
Kumar, who is a native of Karachi, Pakistan, surrendered his passport. Watson also suspended his license, according to the Nassau County district attorney's office.
Kumar's attorney, Hassan Ahmad of Manhattan, declined to comment after the arraignment, and Kumar's family left the hospital without commenting.
Antoine was a transportation supervisor for AC Transit, a regional public bus company serving the Oakland and Berkeley areas, company spokesman Clarence Johnson said Friday.
On Aug. 15, his mother's 83rd birthday, Antoine walked into her hospital room, surprising her as relatives ate birthday cake and drank soda, family members said. "He wanted to come and surprise her, and be there for us," Harry Antoine, 57, of Hempstead, said of his brother.
He added: "He would go to lengths to surprise you with gifts."
And Antoine bought his mother groceries in preparation for her discharge this past Thursday, his family said.