Surveillance footage shows the frightening moments when an out-of-control SUV careens off a side street, across a front lawn and, police said, “through a house” in Brentwood Sunday evening, coming to rest on the lawn of a neighboring home.
The driver, a 34-year-old Bay Shore woman, was arrested and charged with DWI under Leandra’s Law — after Suffolk County Police said a responding officer discovered her three young daughters, aged 4, 5 and 8, in the crashed vehicle.
Ashley Thomas-Smith was charged with driving while intoxicated, aggravated driving while intoxicated under Leandra’s Law and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child, Suffolk County Police said. She faces arraignment Monday in First District Court in Central Islip. Thomas-Smith was treated for what police described as “non-life-threatening injuries” after the crash on Blue Jay Drive at 6:40 p.m. Police said the girls were taken with their mother to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, but were not injured — and were later released to the custody of their father at the hospital.
Police said Thomas-Smith was driving her 2004 Lincoln Navigator westbound on Blue Jay Drive when she lost control of the SUV, crashing through a residence before coming to a stop “on the lawn of a neighboring house.” Third Precinct officers responded to the scene and made the arrest, police said.
Video from the scene captured the Navigator swerving to the left at high speed as it exited the roadway, careering through the driveway entrance and going airborne as it crossed the front lawn of the home, traveling only on it’s passenger side wheels as it crashes into the home. Additional video shows the SUV exiting the other side of the home — crashing onto a fenced in patio area, destroying both the fencing and patio furniture before coming to rest, brake lights on, on all four wheels on the neighboring lawn.
The video also shows a car traveling down the street in the opposite direction — and, an ATV arriving moments after the crash — the operators coming to a stop to assess the crash scene. The video shows the car missed being in the path of the out-of-control SUV by a matter of seconds.
Police said the SUV was impounded and Town of Islip building inspectors were called to the scene to assess any structural damage to the home.
Leandra’s Law is named for 11-year-old Leandra Rosado, who was killed in October 2009 when the car she was riding in with six other girls attending a sleepover party overturned on the Henry Hudson Parkway. The driver, Carmen Huertas, pleaded guilty to all charges and was sentenced to 12 years in prison. Signed into law by Gov. David Paterson in November 2009, Leandra’s Law makes it a felony, even on first offense, to drive drunk with anyone under age 16 in the vehicle.