WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A White Plains firefighter has pleaded guilty to a 16-count indictment in connection with a deadly wrong-way crash last year, prosecutors announced Friday.
Erik Refvik pleaded guilty to numerous charges, including four counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, second-degree manslaughter, first-degree vehicular assault, aggravated driving while intoxicated and reckless driving, Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore said.
On Nov. 3, 2014, Refvik was off-duty when authorities said he drove the wrong way on South Lexington Avenue in White Plains.
His SUV hit a car stopped at a traffic light, killing 47-year-old Reyda La Madrid and seriously injuring her husband, 49-year-old Edgar Lopez, prosecutors said. The couple was delivering newspapers at the time of the incident.
Refvik’s Chevrolet Tahoe was traveling at 65 mph when it collided with La Madrid’s Honda Civic, prosecutors said. The force of the crash pushed the Honda nearly half a football field down South Lexington Avenue.
After the crash, Refvik put his SUV in reverse and slammed into the lobby of a nearby apartment building in an apparent attempt to get away, investigators said.
Refvik had been seen drinking in at least four different bars on Mamaroneck Avenue for 12 hours before the crash, prosecutors said.
Experts put his blood-alcohol level at .21 — more than 2 1/2 times the legal limit — at the time of the collision, prosecutors said. He also had “a cocktail of exacerbating substances in his system, which consisted of cocaine, clonazepam and bath salts,” prosecutors said.
“Today, as a result of his actions that night, this defendant has pled guilty to the most serious DWI charge in New York State and will face substantial time in state prison,” DiFiore said in a statement.
After pleading guilty to the entire 16-count indictment, Refvik was remanded until sentencing, authorities said.
He faces up to 25 years in prison when he is sentenced in September.