Woman Killed By Off-Duty NYPD Officer In Drunk Driving Accident Was Designated Driver

"They did blood tests at the hospital after she was hit — it showed she didn’t have a drop.”

By Eric Shorey

Neville Smith, who works as an NYPD detective in the 48th Precinct in the Bronx, was arrested after crashing into another car on Sunday night. The accident killed the driver and injured two passengers. Smith was charged with vehicular assault, assault, driving while intoxicated, and refusing to take a breath test.


Now, The New York Post reports that Vanessa Raghubar, the 22-year-old killed in the incident, had ironically been the designated driver of her vehicle. 

“We went for dinner, and then we went to a bar,” said Diana Chand, a relative of Raghubar's. “Vanessa didn’t drink. She refused because she was driving some of us back. They did blood tests at the hospital after she was hit — it showed she didn’t have a drop.”

They had been celebrating Raghubar's sister's 21st birthday.

Smith had only suffered minor injuries from the crash, but victim Maria Raghubar had to undergo surgery for the damages caused, which included a damaged pelvis and severe internal damage.

"She has a long road ahead of her," said cousin Nadira Nandlall. "We don't know, we are just praying she'll be OK." 

Maria's boyfriend, who was also in the car, had escaped with only minor injuries.

It's unclear if prosecutors will update Smith's charges following the death of Vanessa. An arraignment has not yet been scheduled.

[Photo: Getty Images]

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