An alleged drunken driver was nearly quadruple the legal limit while speeding up to 100 mph down Montauk Highway before causing a crash that killed an 18-year-old woman near her Lindenhurst home over the weekend, authorities said Wednesday.
Michael Grasing, 31, of Babylon, was seen prior to the crash leaving a Wendy’s in his Nissan Maxima before he started swerving through westbound traffic and blew two traffic lights, Suffolk County District Attorney Tom Spota told reporters during a news conference at his Hauppauge office.
“One eyewitness heard another operator of a motor vehicle yell at the defendant to pull over and stop driving or he is going to kill somebody,” Spota said. “His erratic driving continues for four to five miles.”
At 10:20 p.m. Sunday, Grasing’s car allegedly struck Brittany Walsh’s Kia Sportage SUV with such force that the victim’s vehicle overturned into the eastbound lane, rolling over until it hit a utility pole. Walsh, who had graduated from Copiague High School two days prior, had been driving home from a shift she took at K-Mart instead of attending a graduation party, Spota said.
More than 100 friends and relatives reportedly gathered for a candlelight vigil in remembrance of Walsh on Tuesday night. She was one of three people killed in their hometowns after crashes authorities blamed on alcohol in a recent three-day span.
A 32-year-old Riverside man was hit by a drunk driving suspect early Monday morning and a 39-year-old West Islip man died early Saturday morning after an accused drunken boater crashed into a boat that victim was on in the Great South Bay.
Grasing’s blood-alcohol level was 0.30 percent, Spota said. The legal limit is 0.08 percent. He was scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday on a single charge of driving while intoxicated, although the investigation is continuing and additional charges are expected.
Witnesses reportedly told investigators that Grasing mounted the curb and drove on the sidewalk, then drove back onto the roadway and into the opposite lanes of traffic, according the district attorney.
Spota said Grasing did not brake and continued to drive after the crash, hitting three signs on the side of the road as pedestrians tried to get out of the way before he was apprehended.
Acting Suffolk County Police Commissioner Edward Webber joined Spota to ask that anyone with any information regarding the case, including the man Spota said urged Grasing to stop driving minutes before the crash, to call police at 631-834-8152.