A motorist is jailed on a murder charge after authorities said she drove into a crowd of people during an argument on a Hempstead street in April, killing a woman and seriously injuring two other people.
Shania Buchanan, 22, of Hempstead, pleaded not guilty Thursday at a Nassau County Court arraignment before a judge sent her to jail without bail.
The second-degree murder charge against Buchanan says she showed a depraved indifference to human life, recklessly causing the death of a pedestrian she hit and dragged with her 1999 Pathfinder.
She also faces multiple assault counts, along with reckless endangerment and reckless driving charges.
“The serious charges reflect that the loss of life and injuries sustained are the direct result of the defendant’s alleged willful and wanton driving. There is no excuse and it will not be tolerated,” Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement.
Authorities said about 5 p.m. on April 20, Buchanan sped on Linden Avenue toward a relative’s home after she learned a family member was in a dispute — which had attracted a crowd.
Authorities said the Pathfinder first barreled into Betty Sanders, 45, of Hempstead, who was standing on the side of the road and suffered a broken leg.
They’ve said Buchanan kept driving toward the crowd and then hit bicyclist Jose Mena, 59, of Hempstead, who suffered spinal fractures and whose bicycle got lodged under the Pathfinder.
Buchanan’s SUV then hit Barbara Reid, 56, of Hempstead, dragging her and causing fatal injuries, according to the charges.
Linden Avenue resident Frances Limehouse, 50, previously said Reid — her brother’s fiancee — was trying to break up a fight when the SUV hit her.
Defense attorney Jeffrey Groder said Buchanan, who is a mother and works in retail, voluntarily surrendered to face the charges.
The Mineola lawyer said the defense would do its own investigation of the case, and he might ask for bail for Buchanan in the future.