Cambria Heights teen charged in crash involving school bus, NYPD van, elderly couple

A 19-year-old Cambria Heights resident has been charged for causing a crash involving three vehicles Tuesday, and for briefly fleeing the scene because he was “scared,” authorities said.

According to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, just after 3 p.m. on Aug. 11 two NYPD officers, who were traveling in an unmarked minivan on the Cross Island Parkway near the Jamaica Avenue exit, saw Matthew Robinson driving a 2009 BMW at high speeds and weaving in and out of lanes.

It is then alleged that Robinson, who was speeding in the right lane, tried to swerve into the middle lane between two vehicles when there was clearly not enough room to do so safely. The 19-year-old then struck an unoccupied mini school bus on the right lane, and a Honda in the middle lane, causing the Honda to veer into the left lane and strike the cement median, Brown said.

According to prosecutors, the unmarked NYPD minivan then struck the Honda, which rolled up onto the hood of the vehicle and flipped multiple times before landing upside down.

The Honda’s 77-year-old driver was left hanging upside down in his seat, bleeding from his nose and mouth and with bumps and bruises to his body. The driver’s 73-year-old wife was also bleeding from a large cut to her head.

Robinson allegedly then exited the BMW and fled the site with a backpack without exchanging any information, authorities said. He then allegedly returned about 5 minutes later, without a backpack, and said, “I’m sorry. I got scared.”

The driver of the Honda and his wife, and the two police officers — who suffered back, neck and wrist injuries — were taken to a local hospital for treatment of their injuries.

Robinson is has been charged with reckless endangerment, leaving the scene without reporting personal injury and several other infractions and violations of New York State’s vehicle and traffic laws — driving on roadway lanes for traffic and speed restriction.

“The defendant is accused of driving at an excessive speed and changing lanes without regard to his safety or that of the motorists around him,” Brown said. “As a result of his alleged actions, four people —including two police officers — were injured and the defendant now faces serious criminal charges.”

The 19-year-old is currently awaiting arraignment in Queens Criminal Court. If convicted, he faces up to seven years in prison.


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