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NYPD officer charged after off-duty crash in Queens, police say

A 22-year-old woman died after an off-duty NYPD officer rear-ended her vehicle with his Mercedes Benz over the weekend, according to authorities.

The officer, Neville Smith, 32, was driving his 2010 Mercedes south on the Van Wyck Expressway near Rockaway Boulevard in Queens when he struck a 2004 Honda, carrying two passengers and a driver at about 4 a.m. on Sunday, police said.

The impact caused the Honda to crash into a tree and light pole, according to officials. The 22-year-old Honda driver, identified as Vanessa Raghubar from Elmont, and her two passengers, a 20-year-old male and 22-year-old female, sustained traumatic injuries and were taken to Jamaica Medical Center on Sunday.

Smith was arrested on scene at about 6:14 a.m., and was charged with vehicular assault, DWI and refusal to take a breath test, according to officials.

Raghubar succumbed to her injuries on Monday. It's not immediately clear whether his charges have been elevated. The Queens District Attorney's office did not immediately respond to a request for more information.

Police could not say what the conditions of the two passengers were as of Monday afternoon.

Smith, who is assigned to the detective borough in the Bronx, is currently suspended without pay, police said. He has five years on the job.

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