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Fatal accident, DWI charge on LI

April 2, 2009 3:54:56 PM PDT
Police say a Long Island driver has been killed and the man who collided with her is charged with DWI. Prosecutors say the driver admits to drinking screwdrivers and taking Xanax before driving. The victim was on her way to LaGuardia airport where she worked the early morning shift for American Airlines for more than two decades.

"She was the mother that everybody wanted to be," said Donna Paymer. "She worked because she had to, not because she wanted to."

Grief-stricken neighbors shared memories of Karen Negrin, a 43-year-old mother of two young daughters killed early this morning, police say, by a drunk driver just a mile from home.

John Harnage is now under arrest, charged with driving while intoxicated. He walked away from the crash unscathed. As he was led away in handcuffs, he bowed his head saying, "I'm sorry" twice.

Suffolk County Police say Harnage hit the road in his pickup truck around 3:30 a.m. Thursday, smashing head-on into the victim's Volvo on route 25A in Smithtown, killing Negrin on impact.

Harnage also lives a few blocks away from the site.

"Their son is a beautiful kid," said Diana Misevich, the suspect's neighbor. "This is a tragedy. My heart goes out to both families."

Negrin's neighbors say she left for work around three every morning, never wanting to be late. She wanted to be able to get home and spend afternoons and nights with her kids and took none of it for granted.

"She stayed home with them yesterday afternoon," said neighbor Kerry Gallo, "not even knowing it was her last day. But she stayed home with them relaxing."

Investigators are not saying where the suspect was coming from at 3:30 a.m., but they say it involved a lot of drinking and ultimately Karin Negrin's death.

Web Produced by: Lila Corn


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