Alleged drugged driver gets upgraded charges in fatal crash case

Officials say driver Renee McKinney overdosed on heroin before hitting the pumps at a Mobil station on William Floyd Parkway and pinning 62-year-old Rosalie Koenig this past January.

Officials say driver Renee McKinney overdosed on heroin before hitting the pumps at a Mobil station on William Floyd Parkway and pinning 62-year-old Rosalie Koenig this past January. (4/21/17)

CENTRAL ISLIP - An alleged drugged driver accused in a crash that killed a woman pumping gas was arraigned on upgraded charges in Central Islip court Friday.

Officials say driver Renee McKinney overdosed on heroin before hitting the pumps at a Mobil station on William Floyd Parkway and pinning 62-year-old Rosalie Koenig this past January.

According to court records, McKinney admitted to being high on heroin and crashing the car because she overdosed. She was revived at the scene with the opiate-reversing drug Narcan.

Assistant District Attorney Ray Varuolo says McKinney's blood results tested positive for the strong painkiller fentanyl, cocaine and a small amount of alcohol.

Police say they conducted accident reconstructions of the crash and took extensive toxicology tests of McKinney before her arraignment. She was arraigned on manslaughter and driving while impaired charges.

The district attorney's office also arraigned her alleged drug dealer, Roger Lockett. They say he sold the cocaine and fentanyl to McKinney.

Police described Lockett as a career criminal and slapped him with multiple drug charges, arraigning him in an unusual back-to-back appearance with McKinney.

"In this case we felt it was warranted as it was linked to the drugs being bought," says Varuolo.

McKinney's defense attorney Pierre Bazile says the 53-year old Mastic woman is not as bad as people may think.

"I do know she's a mother and a grandmother. She's been inside since these charges. She does intend to defend them vigorously," says Bazile.

McKinney and Lockett both pleaded not guilty.

Varuolo says because of McKinney's long criminal history, if convicted, she could face up to 15 years to life in prison.

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