CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A Long Island mother of two was charged under Leandra’s Law for allegedly driving drunk with her child in the car when she hit a pedestrian who was walking with his young son.
As WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported, Nina Gebarowski, 38, of Selden, covered her face and apologized as she left the courthouse in Central Islip Friday.
Gebarowski is accused of driving drunk with her 2-year-old daughter in the car when she hit a pedestrian in Selden who was walking with his 4-year-old son.
She has been charged with felony aggravated driving while intoxicated and endangering the welfare of a child, according to police.
“The vehicle just came out of nowhere,” victim Manuel Ortega told CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff.
He’s nursing a dislocated shoulder but said he got lucky.
“I saw the car but I thought it would stop at the stop sign but it just kept on turning,” Ortega told Gusoff.
Ortega was walking his 4-year-old son Manny to the school bus stop in front of their home when he said the car plowed into them and sent him flying.
“I guess it must’ve been a couple of feet and then I lost consciousness for a while,” Ortega said.
The defendant’s lawyer Craig McElwee said his client admitted to having one beer before the Thursday incident.
But police said that wasn’t what they observed at the accident scene.
“Glassy eyes, slurred speech, unsteady gait,” Suffolk County Police Det. Lt. Tom O’Heir told Gusoff. “The observations appeared that she had more than a single beer.”
“She was making a left turn, I believe. The father and child were crossing the street, she struck the father with her car, knocking him to the ground,” McElwee told Hall.
Manuel and Manny Ortega were taken to the hospital and later released. Manny suffered scrapes and cuts in the incident.
“The police officer asked her ‘have you been drinking?’ And she responded ‘I had one beer.’ She then voluntarily submitted to a blood test because she doesn’t believe she was intoxicated at the time,” said McElwee.
The blood test results have not come back, Hall reported.
“She’s sorry the accident happened,” Gebarowski’s husband said through a closed door Friday. “Nothing is proven.”
The lawyer said it appears to just be an accident.
“What I’m saying is that they haven’t shown anything to prove that it was anything otherwise. And right now, she’s being crucified because mother-child-drunk and there’s no proof to that effect. Wait and see what happens,” he told Hall.
Ortega, a federal agent, may need surgery for his injuries, Gusoff reported.
Gebarowski was released on her own recognizance.
A breath test wasn’t administered at the accident scene because she agreed to submit to a blood test, which is considered more accurate.
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