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Copiague teen killed in alleged DWI crash

Police say a mother who was driving drunk with her son in the car is to blame for the death of a Copiague teen. Cops say the accident happened at around 4:50 p.m. Tuesday on Campagnoli Avenue in Copiague.

News 12 Staff

Jun 11, 2009, 1:01 AM

Updated 5,515 days ago

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Police say a mother who was driving drunk with her son in the car is to blame for the death of a Copiague teen.
Cops say the accident happened at around 4:50 p.m. Tuesday on Campagnoli Avenue in Copiague. According to police, 43-year-old Alyssa Cesare, of Copiague, hit the teen's car, causing it to spin out of control and slam into the back of a fire chief's parked SUV. They say she had a stop sign but may not have stopped. Authorities say she had just picked up her 11-year-old son, who was with her in the car at the time.
?It was horrific. Really loud,? says Francine Maniaci, who lives near the scene. ?My husband was on the phone and he yelled ?Oh my God! Oh my God!? and then we both ran outside.?
The Suffolk County District Attorney?s Office says Cesare had a blood alcohol level of .24, which is three times the legal limit.
Gary Paulino, 19, was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital where he was later pronounced dead. The Copiague High School student was two weeks away from graduation. A friend says Paulino was running an errand for his mother when the crash occurred.
Family and friends created a growing memorial at the crash scene with flowers, candles, teddy bears and spray-painted messages on the street.
Investigators impounded all three vehicles for safety checks. Cesare is charged with driving while intoxicated and is due back in court June 16.


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