Some days, you're better off just staying home. That's probably how a 22-year-old New York woman feels about Aug. 4. Police say she was traveling westbound on Jericho Turnpike that evening when she drove over the center median, struck a car and then crashed into a Nassau County firehouse where she hit two fire trucks. Damage is reported to be in the thousands of dollars.
The young woman, who recently graduated from the State University of New York in Albany, is facing DWI charges as well as charges of reckless endangerment, marijuana possession and petit larceny. The larceny charge stems from her alleged theft of a snake from a Petco store just before the accident. She has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The firehouse in New Hyde Park was holding a blood drive when the Toyota Prius crashed through the doors, but no volunteers or firefighters were injured. One volunteer firefighter noted that it could have been much worse because sometimes "people just hang out on the bumper with the door open watching the traffic go by."
The surprises didn't stop there. The fire chief says that when they went to assist the driver, who suffered minor injuries, they saw a two-foot long ball python snake around her neck. Police say the woman stole the snake from a Garden City Petco. A fire department employee trained to handle snakes removed the reptile from her neck. This type of snake is reportedly common and is not venomous.
The woman also had a dog with her. One reptile expert speculated that "the dog was curious of the snake, and the snake was scared of the dog." However, it was not reported whether any interaction between the two caused the car to go out of control.
Even if a driver is determined to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs or has those in his or her possession at the time of a crash, that does not mean that they were necessarily the case of the collision. A law enforcement investigation will help determine that. However, it is essential for the person charged to get sound legal advice to help protect his or her rights both in criminal and civil court.
Source: CBS New York, "Police: Woman Who Crashed Into New Hyde Park Firehouse Had Stolen Snake Wrapped Around Her Neck" Aug. 05, 2014