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.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 27, 2009