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Hit-and-Run Drunk Driver Kills Scooter Driver In High-Speed Queens Crash, But is Later Caught

Rockaway Boulevard near JFK Airport, where the crash happened. Photo: Google

A drunk driver crashed into a scooter operator in southeast Queens, killing the rider before fleeing the scene of the crime, cops said.

According to the NYPD, 55-year-old Charles Fleming was driving an Infiniti Q37 south on Rockaway Boulevard near Guy Brewer Boulevard just before midnight on Oct 12. Fleming, whom police say was moving "at a high rate of speed," rear-ended a Kuba scooter that was being piloted by 19-year-old Eternity Stevens, throwing her and a 23-year-old female passenger from the scooter. Police say Stevens suffered head trauma, and died from her injuries three days later. Her passenger survived with hip and head injuries.

The NYPD could not explain how it knew Fleming was speeding. Police crash narratives almost never include the speed of the driver, and the NYPD never provides such information when requested in the first few days after a crash.

After he struck Stevens's scooter, cops say that Fleming kept on driving but was arrested two days later by Nassau County police, though details of the arrest were not provided. The NYPD then charged Fleming with drunk driving, leaving the scene of an accident causing serious injury and vehicular assault.

The area of Rockaway Boulevard where Stevens was struck and killed is an industrial road next to JFK Airport, and is part of a winding jumble of expressways and service roads. The streets, which are hostile to everything but cars and trucks, can barely keep drivers safe. There have been 198 crashes on Rockaway Boulevard between Guy Brewer Boulevard and 182nd Street since January 2017, a distance of just over one-tenth of a mile. Those crashes injured 108 motorists, killing three.

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