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Long IslandSuffolk

Officials: Fatal crash driver hit 100 mph

A female passenger in a car that was

A female passenger in a car that was struck by another vehicle being chased by a deputy Suffolk sheriff on Sunrise Highway has died, authorities said. (June 27, 2011) Photo Credit: James Carbone

The man accused of fleeing Suffolk deputies and later crashing into another vehicle, killing a passenger, hit speeds of more than 100 mph and drove on the wrong side of the road, a prosecutor said Wednesday.

Cordell Tucker, 24, was charged with criminal possession of stolen property in the third degree and ordered held on $500,000 cash bail at his arraignment Wednesday before State Supreme Court Justice Dennis Cohen.

Prosecutor Laura Newcomb said other, more serious charges would soon be sought before a grand jury.

Tucker of Brooklyn, who was brought into the Central Islip courtroom in a wheelchair, dressed in a hospital gown and wearing a neck brace, said little at the arraignment.

Gail Sacher, 62, of Holbrook, was killed and her husband, Alan, was seriously injured when deputies said the couple's Subaru was hit on the passenger side by a Lincoln Town Car driven by Tucker on Monday afternoon in Bohemia.

Tucker, Rashawn Naquan Smith of Brooklyn and Essence Smith of upstate Troy are accused of taking more than $4,000 in clothing from a store at the Tanger Outlet Mall in Riverhead.

Rashawn Smith and Essence Smith were charged Tuesday with criminal possession of stolen property in the third degree and remain at the Suffolk County Jail.

Tucker is accused of fleeing from deputies after initially complying with their orders to pull over on the LIE. He sped away as the deputies approached the car and eventually headed southbound on Route 112, sometimes driving south in the northbound lane and hitting speeds of "more than 100 mph," Newcomb said in court Wednesday.

The episode ended when Tucker's car struck the Suburu at Lincoln Avenue and the north service road of Sunrise Highway, authorities said. Sheriff's officials said the deputies had their sirens and lights on during the pursuit and at times backed off. Deputies were a quarter-mile behind the suspects at the time of the crash, authorities have said.

In asking for the high bail -- the judge set an alternative of a $1 million bond -- Newcomb said Tucker had been convicted or pleaded guilty to a number of other, less serious charges including a 2003 conviction in upstate Orange County that was given youthful offender status and a more recent petty larceny charge in Manhattan.

"Clearly, this defendant has trouble following lawful orders," Newcomb said.

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