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Woman, 22, dies after crash with allegedly drunken off-duty NYPD officer

JAMAICA, Queens — A driver has died from injuries she suffered when her car was struck by an allegedly drunken off-duty NYPD officer in a crash that also severely injured her two passengers, authorities said.

Vanessa Raghubar, 22, was pronounced dead on Monday, police said. She was behind the wheel of a Honda when shortly after 4 a.m. on Sunday when the driver of a Mercedes Benz rear-ended her car, causing it to strike a tree then a light pole before coming to rest in the far right lane on the Van Wyck Expressway near Rockaway Boulevard.

Two others – a 20-year-old man in the front seat and a 21-year-old woman in the back seat – were with her in the car at the time. They suffered traumatic injuries, police said, but their conditions were not known as of Monday afternoon.

The driver of the Mercedes Benz was identified as off-duty NYPD officer Neville Smith, 32. He faces charges of vehicular assault, assault, DWI and refusal to take a breath test.