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Woman Indicted In Drunken Driving Death Of College Athlete From Brookfield

Emma Fox Photo Credit: Contributed
Robby Schartner, a student at Manhattanville College and a graduate of Brookfield High, was killed by a drunken driver last year. Photo Credit: GoFundMe screenshot

BROOKFIELD, Conn. — A woman was arraigned on multiple charges after driving drunk and killing a 21-year-old college lacrosse player from Brookfield last fall in Westchester County, prosecutors said.

Rye resident Emma Fox, 25, was indicted for her role in the crash that took the life of Fishkill resident Robby Schartner, who graduated from Brookfield High School, Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino Jr. announced Monday. 

Shortly before 5 a.m. Oct. 9, 2016, Fox was driving her Nissan Sentra on Westchester Avenue in White Plains when she struck and killed Schartner, who was running back to his dorm from downtown White Plains.

After striking Schartner, Fox drove a half-mile before stopping her car in the shoulder near Meadowbrook Road, Scarpino said. A passing motorist noticed damage to Fox’s windshield and called 911.

Responding police officers found Schartner unconscious on Westchester Avenue near the entrance to I-287, with severe trauma to the back of his head, Scarpino said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

White Plains police officers spoke with Fox and detected an odor of alcohol on her breath, police said. She proceeded to fail multiple Standardized Field Sobriety tests and was arrested. 

Fox was taken to White Plains Hospital, where tests determined that her blood alcohol content was above .08 percent.

An autopsy by the Westchester County Medical Examiner determined that Schartner died of blunt force trauma of the body with fractures of skull and ribs, lacerations of brain, lungs, liver and internal hemorrhages.

Fox was arraigned on an indictment that charged her with one felony count of second-degree vehicular manslaughter, two counts of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and reckless driving, misdemeanors. She was also charged with driving in excess of maximum speed limit, a violation.

In a statement, Manhattanville College President Michael Geisler praised Schartner's heart and dedication to his lacrosse team.

"In his three years as a men's lacrosse player, Robert earned his spot on the team the hard way. It was not easy for him, but the sacrifices he made inspired the team and epitomized what it means to be a scholar-athlete at Manhattanville," the statement said.

"The level of Robert's commitment to his team could never come into question; whatever he was asked to do, he did with a smile on his face. That was his understanding of what it means to be a true teammate. He loved the sport of lacrosse, he loved his teammates and he loved being a Manhattanville lacrosse player. … We are all in shock and we extend our prayers and condolences to his family members and friends."

Fox pleaded not guilty to the charges and remains free on bail. She is due back in court next month. She faces two to seven years in state prison if convicted.

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