Family of Herta Palma wants charges upped against alleged car crash killer James Murphy

A daytime New Year's Eve crash killed Herta

A daytime New Year's Eve crash killed Herta Palma.

WOODBURY - The family of a 63-year-old Huntington woman is outraged about the charges against her alleged killer.

A daytime New Year's Eve crash killed Herta Palma. Prosecutors say 19-year-old James Murphy admitted he was high on nitrous oxide, Xanax and hash oil and was looking at his phone when he crashed into Palma's car on Hauppauge and Commack roads in Commack.

He's been charged with driving while ability impaired, but Palma's family wants tougher charges added.

Joe Palma, the victim’s son, told News 12 that he has been patient since the crash, but wants to see more rapid progress in the investigation.

“It's not an accident. I could forgive him with all my heart if it was an accident. It was complete negligence,” said Palma.

The Suffolk County District Attorney told News 12 that the case will go before a grand jury in a few weeks and charges against Murphy could be upgraded to manslaughter.

A lawyer for James Murphy told News 12 that he never admitted to driving high but is very sorry for the “terrible accident.”

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