NORTH HILLS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Brooklyn man has been arrested for manslaughter in connection with a wrong-way crash on the service road of the Long Island Expressway that killed his pregnant girlfriend and injured two others, police said Monday.
Courtney Corbett, 28, was also charged with assault and reckless driving, according to police. He walked out in handcuffs with nothing to say Monday, just a day after the crash, CBS2’s Reena Roy reported.
Corbett is a janitor with the New York City Housing Authority.
Prosecutors said two women were spotted using fake credit cards and stealing makeup from a Sephora.
Investigators said Corbett was idling in a dark sedan, waiting for the women who were being followed by security guards.
Just before 4 p.m. an officer heard a broadcast of three suspects fleeing the scene of a larceny at a Sephora store in Manhasset and saw the suspects making a left turn onto Shelter Rock Road in a Hyundai Sonata.
The officer turned on his lights and sirens and tried to pull the car over, but police said it took off south on Shelter Rock Road before turning onto the service road, heading west in the eastbound lanes. The officer stopped following and lost sight of the car, police said.
But that’s when investigators said Corbett hit an Audi head-on. The front passenger of the Hyundai, Corbett’s 27-year-old girlfriend who was six months pregnant, was taken to the hospital where she and her unborn child were pronounced dead, police said.
Another 23-year-old woman who was in the car was taken to the hospital for a head injury. The 44-year-old driver of the Audi suffered back pain and was also taken to the hospital. Two teens in that car, ages 14 and 13, were not hurt.
Police said Corbett was also treated for multiple lacerations and contusions.
Det. Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick said the officer who chased the vehicle acted appropriately, 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reported.
“He attempted to stop a vehicle leaving the scene of a crime, he followed for about a mile and a half and when the actions of Courtney became dangerous, he discontinued,” he said.
He was arraigned at district court in Hempstead. Corbett was stone-faced when he pleaded not guilty, WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported.
His attorney was accompanied by two unknown men who were visibly upset, Roy reported.
Corbett is being held on $200,000 cash bail. Both of his passengers have previous arrests for shoplifting.