An off-duty cop is charged with vehicular manslaughter after he allegedly drove drunk, and killed a pedestrian hailing a cab.
Police say Veronica Valnords, 33, was struck shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday at East 56th Street and Avenue N in the Marine Park section of Brooklyn. She was later taken to Kings County Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Officer Andrew Kelly was reportedly behind the wheel of the blue Jeep Grand Cherokee that mowed into Valnords. Witnesses say the Jeep blasted down the street and made no effort to slow down before slamming into Valnords. Officers who responded to the scene said they thought they smelled alcohol on Kelly’s breath.
Another off-duty officer came forward hours later, admitting he also was in the car. Authorities are now investigating whether anyone else was in the car at the time of the crash.
Valnords, the daughter of a Brooklyn pastor, was coming home from a nearby wedding at the time of the crash. She lived above her father’s church and was dedicated to Bible study and the congregation’s social programs, friends say.
Kelly, who is assigned to the 68th Precinct in Bay Ridge, has since been arrested.