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Cops: Teen driver in fatal crash charged with DWI

Two passengers died in a crash in Central

Two passengers died in a crash in Central Islip on Jan. 28, 2010. Credit: James Carbone

The Centereach teen police say had been drinking when she crashed her car last week in Central Islip, killing two passengers, was formally charged with drunken driving Monday.

Taylor Nolte, 19, has been hospitalized at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore since the violent crash on Wilson Boulevard, between Apple and Banana streets, before dawn Thursday that killed Kenyen Gaskins, 23, of Central Islip, and Kelly Mallazzo, 18, of Hauppauge.

>>>PHOTOS: Fatal Central Islip crash

>>>VIDEO: Teen charged with DWI in fatal Central Islip crash

Nolte was charged with misdemeanor drunken driving after officers reported smelling alcohol on her breath and finding remnants of an alcoholic drink in the destroyed Lexus. A surviving passenger told officials the group had been drinking in the car, police said.

Nolte's nonlife-threatening injuries prevented her scheduled arraignment in a Central Islip courtroom Monday. A judge, a Suffolk assistant district attorney, Nolte's attorney, and others instead held a midday hearing at the hospital. A hospital official prevented a reporter from attending the arraignment, citing privacy concerns.

Nolte pleaded not guilty and was represented by a Legal Aid attorney, according to a court representative. Suffolk District Court Judge Salvatore Alamia ordered Nolte held on $100,000 cash bail or $250,000 bond.

"Upgraded charges will be considered by a grand jury after reviewing accident reconstruction and other evidence," said district attorney spokesman Robert Clifford. Nolte is due back in court Wednesday.

No update on Nolte's condition was available Monday; attempts to contact a family member were unsuccessful.

Lengthy skid marks and the total destruction of the vehicle indicated Taylor was driving at high speed when she left the roadway and hit a tree, police said. Officials are awaiting the results of a blood-alcohol level test.

The surviving two male passengers were hospitalized, one with internal injuries, another with a head injury. Police have declined to identify the pair and had no update on their conditions Monday.

>>>PHOTOS: Fatal Central Islip crash

>>>VIDEO: Teen charged with DWI in fatal Central Islip crash

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