QUEENS, NY – Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that Nicholas Thompson, 35, was arraigned in Queens Supreme Court yesterday following a grand jury handing up a 13-count indictment charging the defendant with aggravated vehicular homicide, manslaughter, DWI and other crimes for a deadly car crash in September in Far Rockaway, Queens.
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said, “A car hitting speeds of nearly 100 mph was a death sentence for a 32-year-old woman in the passenger seat of this defendant’s car. The defendant allegedly got drunk and then drove recklessly and with total disregard for every person on the road. My office will not tolerate drivers who drink and then selfishly drive.”
Thompson, of Redfern Avenue in Far Rockaway, was arraigned yesterday before Queens Supreme Court Justice Gene Lopez on a 13- count indictment charging the defendant with aggravated vehicular homicide, vehicular manslaughter in the first and second degree, manslaughter in the second degree, criminally negligent homicide, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, reckless driving, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first and third degree. Justice Lopez remanded the defendant and set the return date for November 23, 2020. If convicted, the defendant faces up to 25 years in prison. According to the charges, soon after 6:30 p.m. on September 26, 2020, Thompson was behind the wheel of a 2015 BMW headed eastbound on Rockaway Boulevard.
The defendant was allegedly exceeding the speed limit and at one point approached an unmarked police car so fast, the officer driving had to swerve to avoid being struck. Moments after approaching the police vehicle, the BMW veered off the roadway, slammed through a metal fence, travelled approximately 100 yards and crashed into a scrub of trees. Continuing, the DA said, the police officers witnessing the crash approached the vehicle and saw the defendant as he got out of the BMW. After securing a Court-authorized search warrant, police recovered the automobile’s crash data recorder, which indicated the driver was traveling at 97 mph just 5 seconds before the collision. DA Katz said police at the scene observed a woman, Jolenna Favor, of Far Rockaway, in the front passenger seat of the car.
The 32-year-old victim sustained severe trauma to both her head and body. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Continuing, police observed the defendant to allegedly have bloodshot and watery eyes and smelled alcohol on his breath. Thompson refused to submit to a Breathalyzer test. A Court-authorized search warrant for Thompson’s blood was granted and a laboratory analysis revealed him to have a blood-alcohol level almost twice the legal limit. Assistant District Attorney Ian Ramage, of the District Attorney’s Career Criminal Major Crimes Bureau, is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Assistant District Attorney Joseph Grasso, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Shawn Clark, Bureau Chief, Michael Whitney, Deputy Bureau chief, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Daniel A. Saunders.