21-year-old accused of driving drunk, killing woman in crash in Massapequa

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Wednesday, April 24, 2024
21-year-old accused of driving drunk, killing woman in crash on LI
Sonia Rincon was in Massapequa with details on a fatal drunk driving crash.

MASSAPEQUA, Long Island (WABC) -- A 21-year-old woman is accused of driving drunk and killing the driver of a car she crashed into in Massapequa on Tuesday night.

Police say Rachel Lodice, 21, from Georgia, was driving a 2023 Kia on Hicksville Road and struck a 2022 Nissan Altima traveling on Sunrise Highway at 6:45 p.m.

The 64-year-old driver of the Nissan, Cynthia Mitchell, was taken to the hospital where she died from her injuries.

A 46-year-old passenger in the Nissan was also injured and taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

When a public safety officer stopped at the scene of the crash to help, police say Lodice got in his marked town vehicle and drove away.

She was found a short time later and arrested. Lodice is charged with vehicular manslaughter, leaving the scene of an incident, DWI and grand larceny.

Prosecutors say Lodice told detectives she knows she isn't supposed to drink alcohol with her medication, but that she still drinks vodka and blacks out on a regular basis.

Now Mitchell's loved ones are struggling to comprehend how Lodice, a mother of a young child, could be so reckless.

"Her family is crying they're hurting, they don't know what to do," said family friend Monique Powell.

Grieving family friends of Mitchell say her daughter, who is off to college in the fall, was the light of her life.

"Her daughter is 18, honors student going to college, without her mother, and she's in there making a mockery out of it," Powell said. "Cynthia was a God-fearing South Baptist Church member her daughter was graduating. On behalf of the family, it's unfair."

During her arraignment in Nassau County Criminal Court on Wednesday, Lodice sounded confused and was unable to answer basic questions from the judge.

A woman who asked only to be identified as the mother of Lodice's fiancé said Lodice was on her way to meet them.

"She was just tired and got lost, she wasn't even supposed to be in Massapequa, she's not from New York," the woman said.

Lodice's exact blood alcohol level was not revealed in court. Bail was set at $500,000 bond or $250,000 cash and her license was suspended.

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