QUEENS DRIVER SENTENCED TO PRISON AFTER PLEADING GUILTY TO VEHICULAR HOMICIDE CHARGES IN CRASH THAT KILLED PASSENGER
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that Nicholas Thompson, 36, has been sentenced to up to 17 years in prison after pleading guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide charges. The defendant hit speeds up to 97 mph while driving drunk. A 32-year-old woman riding with Thompson was killed when the car crashed through a metal fence and into a grove of trees in Far Rockaway in September 2020.
District Attorney Katz said, “The defendant was both intoxicated and speeding – a deadly combination – when he crashed through a fence and slammed into a tree killing his passenger. This selfish act of driving while drunk puts everyone on the road at risk. The sentence imposed by the Court today punishes the defendant for the needless death of this woman.”
Thompson, of Redfern Avenue in the Far Rockaway neighborhood of Queens, pleaded guilty last month to aggravated vehicular homicide before Queens Supreme Court Justice Gene Lopez. Earlier today, Justice Lopez ordered Thompson to serve 8 ½ to 17 years in prison.
District Attorney Katz said that on September 26, 2020, around 6:45 p.m. the defendant was driving a BMW eastbound on Rockaway Boulevard. Thompson was going in excess of 90 miles per hour as he approached Brookville Boulevard. The defendant moments later, lost control of the automobile. He veered off the road at 97 miles per hour and crashed through a metal fence, drove through a field and hit a thicket of trees at a speed of 74 miles per hour.
Continuing, the DA said, when police arrived at the scene, the defendant was outside of the car and informed the responding officers that his passenger was still inside the BMW. The 32-year-old victim, Jolenna Favor, had severe head and body trauma and was pronounced dead at the scene.
The DA said police at the scene noticed Thompson exhibiting signs of intoxication. He had bloodshot, watery eyes, slurred speech and smelled of alcohol. The defendant refused to submit to a chemical test to determine his blood alcohol level. However, a Court-ordered blood test showed Thompson’s blood alcohol content was almost twice the legal limit of .08. In the course of their investigation, police also determined the defendant’s driver’s license had previously been revoked based on multiple prior convictions for driving while intoxicated in Pennsylvania in March 2015.
Senior Assistant District Attorney John Esposito, Assistant District Attorney Kenneth Zawistowski and former Assistant District Attorney Jacqueline Iaquinta of the District Attorney’s Career Criminal Major Crimes Bureau, prosecuted the case, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Shawn Clark, Bureau Chief, Michael Whitney, Deputy Bureau Chief, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Daniel Saunders.