Susannah Smith was allegedly drunk and texting when she crashed into a utility pole, sending powerlines into the roadway, and caused the death of 34-year-old Milton Diaz
MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly announced that a Sea Cliff woman has been indicted on manslaughter and other related charges for allegedly causing the death of a motorcyclist while she was both drunk and texting on her mobile phone in June 2022.
Susannah Smith, 22, was arraigned Friday before Judge Robert Schwartz on charges of Manslaughter in the Second Degree (a C felony); Vehicular Manslaughter in the Second Degree (a D felony); Assault in the Second Degree (a D violent felony); Driving While Intoxicated (an unclassified misdemeanor); Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree (an A misdemeanor); and Reckless Driving (an unclassified misdemeanor). The defendant pleaded not guilty, and bail was continued at $50,000 bond. She is due back in court on June 5, 2023. If convicted of the top charge, the defendant faces up to five to 15 years in prison.
“This defendant was allegedly intoxicated and texting with a friend after picking up pizza when she veered off the road and crashed into a utility pole, scattering power lines onto the roadway and cutting the lights,” DA Donnelly said. “Milton Diaz did not see the hazards that this defendant allegedly created as he drove by and tragically struck one of the downed lines, causing him to fall off his motorcycle to his death. Our thoughts remain with Milton’s family and friends as we prosecute this case.”
DA Donnelly said that, according to the charges, on June 15, 2022, at approximately 11:58 p.m., the defendant was driving a 2014 Ford Focus northbound on Cedar Swamp Road while allegedly intoxicated and texting with a friend. The defendant drove off the roadway onto the grassy shoulder and crashed into a utility pole, downing the pole, and causing wires to be strewn across the roadway and the power to go out.
The force of the impact also caused the defendant’s car to flip onto its side.
Minutes later, 34-year-old Milton Diaz drove through the pitch-black crash scene on a 2006 Honda motorcycle and struck one or more of the downed power lines, causing him to fall off his motorcycle.
The victim suffered significant trauma and was pronounced deceased at the scene at 12:14 a.m.
The defendant needed assistance from the Brookville Police Department to exit her vehicle.
She was taken to Nassau University Medical Center for treatment of injuries sustained in the crash.
The defendant was arrested on June 16, 2022, by members of the Nassau County Police Department and Brookville Police Department.
The case is being prosecuted by Deputy Bureau Chief Stephanie Dellinger of the Vehicular Crimes Bureau. The defendant is represented by Karen Johnston, Esq.
The charges are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.