A freshman at Farmingdale State College, Danny Ferencsik, 18, just had another stressor added to the challenge of getting acclimated to what his mother calls a “very difficult program” — mechanical engineering.
What had been a half-hour drive to school turned into two hours, she said, as her specially equipped van to accommodate his power chair and medical equipment was one of two parked vehicles that was damaged early Sunday. The damage was caused by a 2003 Nissan Maxima, driven by a man arrested on felony drunken-driving charges after the fiery crash, according to police and court records.
Danny, who was born with spinal muscular atrophy, “cannot jump into anyone’s car,” said his mother, Theresa Ferencsik, of Holbrook, who had been driving him to school, doctors’ appointments and other engagements.
She has spent the past few days trying to coordinate with insurance companies, funding agencies and Suffolk County Accessible Transportation Services, which taken care of her son’s transportation needs, she said. On Wednesday afternoon she was headed out to pick up a two-week rental van, at a significant out-of-pocket cost, which is “costly, but it’s worth it,” she said.
Avinasha Mahadeo, 27, who is being held on $10,000 cash bail or $5,000 bond, was charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated, operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and with refusal to take a breath test after the crash on Avenue B near Third Avenue in Holbrook on Sunday at 2:55 a.m. He was arraigned Sunday in First District Court in Central Islip, but records show he was unable to post bail.
He is due back in court on Oct. 17.
Suffolk County police said Mahadeo lost control of his 2003 Nissan Maxima on Avenue B, striking the two parked vehicles — Ferencsik’s 2011 Chevrolet van and a 2011 Hyundai. The Maxima and the van then caught fire, damaging both, police said.
Police said Mahadeo was charged with felony DWI because he has a prior conviction for drunken driving.
Danny Ferencsik on Sunday tweeted a photo of the crash showing his van and the Maxima ablaze.
While this has been “a huge inconvenience,” Theresa Ferencsik said, “it’s not life-altering,” adding, “at least there was no loss of life.”
With John Valenti