A Long Island man was arrested and charged with drinking and driving in the aftermath of a horrific accident that tore his car in half and left a passenger dead.
Police say that Police say that Shiva Sharma, a 32-year-old resident of Wyandanch, was driving in excess of the speed limit just before 4 am on Monday, May 30, traveling between W. 54th and W. 55th on Sixth Avenue, when he lost control of his Nissan Altima, went onto the sidewalk and hit a fire hydrant near the Warwick Hotel. The impact of the crash nearly split the vehicle in half, with the hydrant ending up in the middle of the car. Witnesses say that there were vehicle parts strewn for nearly half a block, and that there were personal items, such as tennis shoes, littered around the crash site.
A passenger in Sharma’s car, Juan Avila, a 33-year-old resident of Jackson Heights, died after being taken by ambulance to Mt. Sinai Roosevelt Hospital. Sharma was also taken to the hospital (Bellevue), where he was listed in serious, but stable, condition. Family members say that Avila, who worked for a company that sold pre-paid calling cards, left a four-year-old daughter behind.
According to police officers, Sharma was legally intoxicated at the time of the crash. He was charged with drinking and driving, and with vehicular manslaughter the day after the accident. Officials say that more charges may be pending, based on an ongoing investigation.