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Queens woman dies after drunken off-duty cop slams into car

On Sunday, Vanessa Raghubar was driving home after celebrating her sister’s birthday when she was rear-ended, reportedly by a drunken and off-duty police officer.

It was 4 a.m.m when Raghubar, 22, was returning from the birthday celebrations and Officer Neville Smith rear-ended her, sending her car into a tree and a light pole. Raghubar as well as her two passengers were critically injured in the crash.

Raghubar was rushed to Jamaica Hospital. Her passengers were also rushed to the hospital: her sister, Maria Raghubar, 21, and her sister’s boyfriend, Justin Harricharran, 20. Raghubar died on Monday, one day after the deadly accident.

On Sunday, Smith was charged with vehicular assault, assault, driving while intoxicated and refusal to take a Breathalyzer test. With the death of Raghubar, those charges are expected to be upgraded.

Because Smith is still in the hospital after the crash, he has yet to be arraigned.

Raghubar’s aunt, Esther Mongul, said that Maria Raghubar has not yet been told about her sister’s death. Maria has a broken arm in addition to a shattered pelvis and shredded bladder, and she has undergone four surgeries.

“He was a cop and he was drunk. We want justice. He was supposed to protect us, not kill us,” Mongul said. “I’m heartbroken. I never thought when she left home Saturday she would never come back to me.”

 

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