Ozone Park car wash attendant who fatally struck woman arraigned on manslaughter charges: DA

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Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

The Ozone Park car wash attendant who fatally struck a woman while allegedly driving drunk earlier this week was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on vehicular manslaughter charges on Tuesday, Feb. 16, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

Edwin Vargas, a 43-year-old from Richmond Hill, additionally faces a driving while intoxicated charge after he ran over a customer who was waiting for her car at Crossbay Car Wash on Monday, Feb. 15, Katz said. Vargas faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.

Around 2 p.m., on Monday, Vargas drove a customer’s car out of the wash shop, located at 135-18 Cross Bay Blvd., and into Tracy McManus, whose car was still being cleaned, according to the DA.

McManus, 54, suffered severe body trauma as a result of the crash and was rushed to Jamaica Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Police arrived to find Vargas, who had also driven the 2011 Jeep into a another car on the lot, with a blood alcohol level around .115, according to Katz.

“If you have a job that requires you to get behind the wheel of a vehicle, coming to work intoxicated is selfish and dangerous, with potentially fatal consequences,” Katz said. “This is a heart-breaking, senseless tragedy and a woman who just wanted to get her car washed is dead because of the defendant’s alleged actions.”

Vargas was taken into custody at the car wash. He’ll return to court on Feb. 19.