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Hudson Valley Woman Accused Of Hitting, Killing Grandfather With Car In NYC

West End Avenue in Manhattan.
West End Avenue in Manhattan. Photo Credit: Google Maps street view

A Hudson Valley woman with a spotty driving record is facing multiple charges for allegedly striking three pedestrians, including a beloved grandfather, on two separate occasions in Manhattan.

Jessenia Fajardo, 38, of Walden in Orange County, was charged in New York State Supreme Court with manslaughter, second- and third-degree assault after killing 62-year-old Alfred Pocari, “seriously injuring” a second victim and injuring a third victim in a separate incident.

Fajardo was also charged with leaving the scene of an incident with failure to exhibit documents and three counts of violating the right of way of pedestrians and bicyclists.

It is alleged that at approximately 3:30 p.m. on July 19, Fajardo was driving a 2011 Acura RDX SUV north on West End Avenue in Manhattan. As she approached the intersection of West End Avenue and West 98th street, Fajardo drove through a red light, at which point she struck Pocari and another pedestrian, who were in a crosswalk. The two suffered severe injuries and were taken to Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital, where Pocari later was pronounced dead.

Fajardo has two previous unlicensed driving convictions and reportedly attempted to dupe the officers who arrested her, claiming the light was green when she blew through the intersection, authorities said.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said that in a prior incident on May 21, it is further alleged that Fajardo drove through a stop sign at approximately 6:45 a.m. at the intersection of Desbrosses and Washington Streets, running over a pedestrian’s foot while also in a crosswalk. Fajardo allegedly briefly left her vehicle but then left the scene without providing any information to the pedestrian once he said he was going to call the police.

Fajardo is being held in lieu of a $25,000 bond or $15,0000 cash bail.

“While other types of crime drop to historic lows across New York City, pedestrians and cyclists remain under constant threat of vehicular violence from habitually reckless drivers,” Vance said. “As alleged in this indictment, this defendant’s driving record demonstrates a history of disregard for our laws and the safety of her fellow New Yorkers.

“In the space of just three months, her reckless conduct included striking three pedestrians, endangering countless others, and causing the death of a beloved grandfather of three. My office will continue to advocate for legislation that enhances criminal accountability for vehicular violence and keeps reckless drivers off the road.”

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