News & Politics

Second Girl Dies in St. Albans Van Crash


A second girl has died from injuries in yesterday’s rush-hour van-and-minivan crash in St. Albans. Sheilia Bethea was driving five children, to whom her sister provided foster care, in her van to a foster-care agency appointment yesterday when she crossed the double yellow line on Dunkirk Street and hit a minvan driven by a 63-year-old man, who is reported in stable condition. Four passengers were taken to hospitals; a 15-year-old passenger, Katherine Willis, was pronounced dead at Queens Hospital Center; the girl who passed early this morning, Melissa Elh-Mirra, was five years old. A witness told the reporters that Bethea, 45, said at the scene she “had a bad leg and the gas pedal got stuck on the floor.” She was given a breathalyzer test, which found her alcohol consumption to be under the legal limit. She is charged with reckless endangerment.


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