A Flanders woman has been charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated following a two-car crash outside her home Thursday that left her 4-year-old daughter in critical condition, according to New York State police.
Capt. Christopher Casale, speaking at a press conference Friday afternoon, said the girl is “fighting for her life.”
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family at this very difficult time,” he said at State Trooper headquarters in Farmingdale.
The girl suffered head and spinal injuries, he said.
Amy Wesolowski, 34, was driving a 2005 Toyota Rav 4 when the collision occurred with a 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan, driven by Sonya Fezza, 29, of Water Mill, police said. Capt. Casale said Ms. Wesolowski was driving out of her driveway on Flanders Road and drove straight into oncoming traffic.
Police have charged Ms. Wesolowski with the felony DWI charge, misdemeanor counts of driving while ability impaired by drugs and endangering the welfare of a child. She pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charges at an arraignment Friday morning in Southampton Town Justice Court before Judge Gary Weber. She also issued a general denial to the felony charge, which will go before a grand jury.
She was represented in court by legal aid and declined comment as she exited with two family members. She was released on her own recognizance.
The prosecutor said Ms. Wesolowski told police she was on three prescriptions, including for Suboxone, Adderall and Vyvanse. No other specific drugs were mentioned during the arraignment.
Capt. Casale said that she “appeared to be under the influence of some type of narcotic.”
Ms. Wesolowski’s license had been suspended, Capt. Casale said.
The judge said during the arraignment that was no action taken against her license because “‘she has no license to begin with.”
The child was transported to Stony Brook University Hospital in critical condition following the crash, according to a press release. The child was seated in the rear driver’s side, a prosecutor said during the arraignment. Capt. Casale said a booster seat was in the vehicle, however, it remains under investigation whether the child was secured or secured properly.
Both drivers were taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead and were since released.
Capt. Casale said he was in Flanders Thursday and called it a “very horrific scene.”
“When you have an impact like that — we have one car driving at a reasonable speed and another car essentially moving very slowly, that causes a very, very large impact,” he said.
An animal control officer from Southampton Town helped aid the child after arriving at the scene shortly after the crash occurred, according to a press release from Southampton Town’s Public Safety and Emergency Management. Colleen Kidd, a former volunteer EMS, performed CPR on the child after bystanders had pulled her from the vehicle.
“She was unresponsive and her color was horrible when I got to her,” Ms. Kidd said in the release.
Fellow animal control officer Mike Lorenz directed traffic around the scene until police arrived.
“We are so proud of the actions of Colleen and Mike,” said Ryan Murphy, the Public Safety and Emergency Management Administrator.
Both the state police and Southampton Town police responded to investigate the crash, which shut down a portion of Flanders Road for more than four hours. Ms. Wesolowski was allegedly unsteady on her feet and “unable to remember simple instructions,” the court document said. She performed poorly on a field sobriety test and provided a blood test sample.
Police blocked off the road at Long Neck Boulevard and Pleasure Drive during the investigation.
The crash occurred at about 11:40 a.m., according to state police. The road was reopened at around 4:30 p.m.
The Riverhead Central School District sent a robocall to parents warning of busing delays Thursday afternoon due to “an accident within our community.”
Police are asking anyone with information to call 631-756-3300.