Suffolk County prosecutors said Monday that they will wait for the results of toxicology tests and an accident reconstruction before deciding whether to seek upgraded charges against the driver who crashed into a Shirley gas station, fatally injuring a woman who was pumping gas.
Renee McKinney, 53, of Mastic, was charged with driving while impaired by drugs after the Saturday morning crash that fatally injured Rosalie Koenig, 62, also of Mastic, authorities said.
Koenig died Sunday morning at Stony Brook University Hospital, a day after she was pinned between her Nissan Frontier and a gas pump when McKinney, who had overdosed on heroin, crashed her car into a Mobil station, authorities said.
Koenig had to be cut free by medical crews, police said.
In an interview with News 12 Long Island on Monday, Margaro Maisonet, Koenig’s husband, called his wife, “the most beautiful person in the world.”
Maisonet said his wife was not supposed to “die like that,” at the hands of someone who allegedly used drugs and drove.
McKinney was driving her 2002 Nissan Altima north on William Floyd Parkway near Moriches-Middle Island Road about 11:30 a.m. Saturday when she tried to turn into the station and slammed into the pump, authorities said.
McKinney was taken after the crash to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center in Patchogue, where a blood test was taken.
McKinney did not speak during her brief arraignment Sunday in First District Court in Central Islip. Judge Gaetan B. Lozito set McKinney’s bail at $100,000 cash or $300,000 bond.
Assistant District Attorney Kyle Croce said at arraignment that Koenig died in surgery. He also cited McKinney’s multiple felony convictions, as well as several misdemeanors and instances when she failed to appear in court. Online court documents show McKinney’s criminal history, including convictions for attempted robbery, prostitution, petty larceny, attempted petty larceny and criminal possession of a controlled substance.
Lozito did not revoke McKinney’s driving privileges immediately because the results of her blood test have not yet been determined.
Laura Stein, McKinney’s Legal Aid Society lawyer, declined to comment.
The criminal complaint states that McKinney had overdosed on heroin before the crash. Police found her unconscious and exhibiting signs of an opiate overdose in the driver’s seat after the crash. She was given Narcan, which reverses opiate overdoses, and she told authorities that she had used heroin, the complaint said.
“This arrest is based in part on the defendant’s admission that she committed this crime,” the complaint said.
With Andrew Smith