The victim of a deadly East Meadow crash was stopped at a red light Monday when a driver fleeing from police at high speed struck her vehicle with his car and pushed it into a pole, Nassau prosecutors said Thursday.
Justin Daley, 28, of Hicksville, "fled the police at a high rate of speed when he was obligated to pull over" and police in an unmarked vehicle had on lights and sirens, district attorney's office spokesman Brendan Brosh said.
A judge on Thursday set bail for Daley at $200,000. The defendant's attorney, Brian Griffin, has said his client pleaded not guilty to charges that include manslaughter and "was not knowingly fleeing from undercover police officers."
"While it's clear that it ended in a very tragic manner, what is unclear is how or why this started," the Garden City attorney said Thursday.
Police identified the victim as Ming Deng, 58, of East Meadow. They've said Daley's Nissan Sentra hit the back of her Honda at 11:40 p.m. Monday on Hempstead Turnpike near Conti Square Boulevard. Her family said the mother of two had been on her way home from her job as an EEG technician at nearby Nassau University Medical Center, and she'd been a doctor in China before immigrating to the United States 23 years ago.
Griffin said Daley served as a U.S. Marine and has a job as a painting company project manager.
The district attorney's office said Thursday Daley had been in an area known for prostitution and drugs when the incident began and that police saw him run at least one red light. Prosecutors wouldn't comment on when police began following his car, with a spokesman saying the investigation was ongoing.
But a police source said Thursday that Daley apparently recognized undercover officers as police after a female got out of his car -- which was parked behind a motor inn -- and Daley then sped away. Daley was about an eighth of a mile down the road and had gone through a red light before the officers followed, according to the source, who said Daley had crashed by the time their van caught up.
Griffin said his client remains hospitalized with a broken leg but is expected to post his bail.