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Jax Heights woman dies in DWI: DA

By Jeremy Walsh

A Jackson Heights woman is dead and a Brooklyn man has been charged with negligent homicide, vehicular manslaughter and drunk driving after a fatal accident in Queens, District Attorney Richard Brown said last week.

Elvia Collado, 22, was killed Aug. 11 when her boyfriend, Waldo Vargas, 25, smashed into a tree on the Belt Parkway near Springfield Boulevard, the DA said.

The accident occurred shortly before 1 a.m., Brown said. Vargas was allegedly speeding in a 1999 Honda Civic when he lost control, the DA said. Collado was pronounced dead at the scene.

“By his alleged actions, the defendant displayed a wanton and reckless disregard for life that clearly illustrated the lethal consequences resulting from driving while intoxicated,” Brown said in a statement. “People should remember that a car is a weapon and, like a gun, it can kill — unless it is in responsible hands.”

Vargas was arraigned Aug. 12 in Queens Criminal Court on a three-count complaint of second-degree vehicular manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the DA said.

If convicted, Vargas faces up to seven years in prison, the DA said. He was ordered held on $30,000 bail and to return to court Aug. 26, the DA said.

The parkway has been the site of at least two fatal accidents in the last year.

In September 2007, a motorist was killed in the Brooklyn section of the highway when he slammed into the rear of another car. Another accident occurred Feb. 28, when a driver fleeing from police crashed into another vehicle in Brooklyn, killing one of the occupants of the second car.

Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at jwalsh@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.

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