Brooklyn Boro

Fatal BQE crash leads to charges for speeding driver

Negligent homicide could bring sentence of 15 years for DWI

April 19, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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A Long Island woman is being charged with manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and assault in connection with a fatal crash on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in January. 

The woman, identified as Chelsea Rety, 22, of Copiague, allegedly lost control of her vehicle while she was speeding at more than 100 mph under the influence of alcohol last January. Her front-seat passenger died following the crash, and a backseat passenger was injured.

At approximately 12:30 a.m. on Jan. 22, 2021, she was driving a 2016 Toyota Scion eastbound on the BQE with two friends, Saharath Yuvanavattana, 23, in the front passenger seat and a 24-year-old man in the rear passenger seat, according to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office. 

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As the car approached the Flushing Avenue exit, Exit 30, Rety allegedly lost control of the vehicle, causing the passenger side to strike a barrier.

Yuvanavattana was taken to Bellevue Hospital and died a short time later, according to the investigation. The other passenger was treated for non-life-threatening injuries, while Rety suffered a broken arm. 

The charges say that, according to the investigation, Rety was driving at an excessive rate of speed of approximately 102 miles per hour and had a blood alcohol level of approximately .09, which is over the legal limit of .08.

Rety was arraigned Friday by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Matthew Sciarrino and was charged with second-degree manslaughter, second-degree vehicular manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and third-degree assault. She faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of the top count. She remains out on $75,000 bail and was ordered to return to court on June 2, 2021.  


District  Attorney Eric Gonzalez said, “This defendant made a terrible decision to allegedly get behind the wheel of a car after drinking alcohol and traveling at an incredibly high rate of speed.  She showed complete disregard for the safety of her passengers and everyone using our roadways.”

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