Long Island woman pleads not guilty in fatal car crash

A woman pleaded not guilty on Tuesday after she allegedly caused a deadly vehicle crash on Long Island which left another woman dead. The woman then fled in a police cruiser, the Nassau County Police Department said.

She pleaded not guilty to charges including manslaughter and leaving the scene. 

Photo credit: (NCPD)

Prosecutors said 21-year-old Rachel Lodice is to blame. She was allegedly speeding and high on marijuana when she blew a red light and slammed into Cynthia Mitchell’s car.

Cynthia Mitchell is missed by many, especially her daughter who is graduating from high school.

Mitchell was the clerk and leader of the band at her church and her husband also told FOX 5 New York that she lived for her birthday. She was killed just days before.

Mitchell was on her way to Hobby Lobby with one of her best friends on the day of the crash. 

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"Less than 2 miles, that’s how far Cynthia Mitchell was from her destination," said Nassau District Attorney Anne Donnelly.

When a public safety officer stopped to help after the crash, Lodice allegedly jumped in his car and drove off until a kill switch disengaged the engine and police arrested her.

"She was sitting in the car, wearing a Town official’s jacket and eating a sandwich from his cooler," Donnelly said.

Lodice is still being held on a $500,000 bond. If convicted, she faces up to 22 years in prison. She's due back in court on July 8. 

The family said they'll be there to make sure justice is served.