Community mourns mom killed in alleged DWI crash

Karen Holden, a registered nurse, was in the family SUV with her husband and son, who were both injured in the same crash.

Karen Holden, a registered nurse, was in the family SUV with her husband and son, who were both injured in the same crash. (6/28/16)

HUNTINGTON - The community showed an outpouring of support for a 56-year-old mother who died over the weekend in a car crash.

Karen Holden, a registered nurse, died Sunday night when an allegedly drunken driver rear-ended her car at a red light on Jericho Turnpike in Huntington Station, police say.

She worked at St. Francis Hospital for 29 years. Her co-workers called the crash devastating.

Holden was in the family SUV with her husband and son, who were both injured in the same crash. The family was en route to Virginia to visit another son.

Police accuse Lindenhurst resident Ryan Gurecki, 34, of driving drunk and speeding before causing the crash. He has pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor driving while intoxicated charge, but prosecutors say he admitted to having five Heineken beers before the accident. He has two prior alcohol-related charges, including a 2006 DWI conviction.

In February, Gurecki was arrested for allegedly leaving the scene of an accident with injury.

Marge Lee, with the anti-drunken driving group DEDICATEDD, says it's outrageous that Gurecki was allowed to keep driving.

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