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Driver Faces Charges after Passenger Dies in Car Crash


two cars in a crash with heavy damage

According to WABC, a driver faces multiple charges after the passenger in his car dies following a crash in Long Island, New York, on Wednesday night.

Driver has 22 Prior Arrests

Two plain-clothed police officers witnessed the car driven by William Billups, 45, speeding near Independence and North Main Street in Roosevelt, New York. The officers attempted to pull the vehicle over, but Billups sped off as they approached.

WABC reports that the police officers lost sight of Billups’ car but heard a crash at around 8:00 p.m. local time. The crash occurred at the intersection of Rutland Road and East Seaman Avenue between Billups’ Buick and a Mercedes Benz.

Billups ran the stop sign at the intersection, crashing into the other vehicle. Both cars ended up in the front lawn of a house, according to WABC.

The passenger in Billups’ car, 33-year-old Brandee Griffin, sustained severe blunt force trauma in the wreck. She received treatment at Nassau University Medical Center, but would later succumb to her injuries at around 11:00 p.m. local time.

Billups sustained a broken leg and a head injury, according to WABC. He faces second-degree manslaughter, third-degree assault, and third-degree aggravated unlicensed vehicle operation. Billups has a long rap sheet, including domestic violence, drug sales and robbery, and seven license suspensions.

The driver of the Mercedes Benz, 24-year-old Argenis Tavares, suffered from a broken jaw.

Motor Vehicle Traffic Accidents

The following information is provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

  • 35,092 people died in crashes on U.S. roadways in 2015.
    • This is an increase of 7.2 percent from 2014 – the largest increase in nearly 50 years.
  • 105,000 more people were injured in crashes in 2015 compared to 2014.
  • Fatal multiple-vehicle crashes increased by 11.2 percent from 2014.

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