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Fatal Crash Blamed on Alleged Impaired Driver

Fatal Crash Blamed on Alleged Impaired Driver

Commack (WALK) - A young driver from Huntington who allegedly admitted using drugs before a fatal crash on New Year's Eve is now charged with impaired driving.

Police say that James Murphy, 19, sideswiped a Mercedes as he traveled north on Commack Road Tuesday afternoon and then broadsided a Hyundai sedan at the intersection of New Highway. The crash killed Herta Palma, 63, of Commack, who was driving the Hyundai.

According to investigators, Murphy later admitted to police that he inhaled Dust Off, a canned computer keyboard cleaner, prior to getting behind the wheel of his Chevrolet Trailblazer. He also allegedly confessed to using an anti-anxiety medication, Alprazolam, and smoking hash in the days prior to the crash.

The suspect appeared at First District Court in Central Islip yesterday, where he was arraigned on a charge of driving while impaired by drugs. He was ordered held on bail of $150,000 cash or $450,000 bond.

Murphy and his passenger. whose name wasn't released by police, were treated for minor injuries after the crash. The driver of the Mercedes was not hurt, police say.

Photo: Suffolk Police

 

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