Woman accused of fatally striking NYPD officer on the LIE ordered held without bail
The woman accused of fatally striking NYPD Highway Officer Anastasios Tsakos in a hit-and-run on the Long Island Expressway in Queens early Tuesday was ordered held without bail.
Police say Tsakos was diverting traffic on the LIE near Exit 26 after a previous crash near Francis Lewis Boulevard. They say Tsakos was then hit by a car that took off just before 2 a.m. Tsakos was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Police later stopped the car that took off and arrested Jessica Beauvais, 32 of Hempstead, who they say was driving.
As she was being led by authorities to a vehicle in handcuffs, News 12 asked her to comment. Beauvais apologized, saying, "I'm sorry that I hit him and that he's dead."
Beauvais faces a long list of charges, including vehicular manslaughter, DWI, aggravated unlicensed operator, reckless endangerment and reckless driving.
Authorities say Beauvais admitted to smoking pot and taking some shots of tequila before getting behind the wheel.
"We're grateful as we walk out of this court today that the defendant that killed a New York City police officer was remanded," says Pat Lynch, New York City PBA president.
Investigators say her blood alcohol content was .15, nearly twice the legal limit. That was more than two hours after the crash happened.
"She admitted that she didn't know where she was going or what she was doing but she still got in the car and used her GPS as if it was automatic pilot," says Lynch.
Tsakos, a 14-year veteran of the department was described as a "highly regarded" member of the NYPD.
"We stand here devastated, trying to pick up the pieces of what is a shattered home and a shattered NYPD family," says NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea.
Tsakos, 43, lived in East Northport with his wife and two young kids.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says he spoke to Tsakos' widow and that she is "going through hell" right now.
Police say Tsakos had been responding to a fatal single-car crash when he was struck. That incident happened shortly after midnight on the Long Island Expressway near the Clearview Expressway.
Police say 24-year-old Jonathan Espinal is facing charges of unlicensed operation of a vehicle following the initial crash. Espinal and a 19-year-old passenger were hospitalized with injuries, while a 26-year-old rear-seat passenger was pronounced dead. That passenger has not been identified.
If convicted on the top count, Beauvais could spend up to 15 years behind bars.