A Long Island driver was indicted by a Queens Grand Jury Monday in the fatal hit-and-run that left NYPD Highway Patrol Officer Anastasios Tsakos dead last month, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.
Jessica Beauvais, 32, was charged with aggravated manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter and other crimes for allegedly driving while intoxicated and striking Tsakos in the early morning hours of April 27.
Beauvais, of Myrtle Avenue in Hempstead, will be arraigned May 25 in Queens Supreme Court on a 13-count indictment.
It was after midnight on April 27 when police responded to the scene of a one-car crash on the Long Island Expressway ramp entrances to the Clearview Expressway. A driver who was headed eastbound on the LIE lost control of the car and slammed into a concrete wall. The automobile caught fire and two passengers were pulled from the vehicle. They survived; however, a third passenger died at the scene.
NYPD officers responded to the scene of the crash and as they began to investigate, Tsakos, who grew up in Astoria, assisted with the traffic flow. At that time, defendant Beauvais — behind the wheel of a 2013 Volkswagen Passat — was traveling eastbound on the LIE allegedly at a high rate of speed as she approached the scene of the crash.
According to the charges, Beauvais allegedly struck Tsakos and the impact of the nearly two-ton car threw the officer in the air briefly before he landed in a nearby patch of grass.
Beauvais allegedly did not stop or slow down after striking the victim and continued to travel several exits before taking the Horace Harding Expressway off-ramp. That’s when her vehicle jumped the curb and mounted the sidewalk, where police surrounded the defendant in her vehicle. Beauvais then allegedly attempted to flee the scene, according to the charges. She put the car in reverse and rammed the police vehicle behind her once before coming to a full stop.
Members of the NYPD then immediately arrested Beauvais. She was transported to the 112th Precinct where she submitted to an intoxilyzer test, which was administered over two hours following the fatal crash. The results of the test showed the defendant allegedly had a blood alcohol content of .15, which is above the legal limit of .08 in New York state.
Tsakos was rushed to a nearby hospital but died as a result of his injuries. He was subsequently promoted to detective posthumously by the NYPD.
“As alleged, there is a list of bad choices, from drinking and getting high and getting behind the wheel of a car, that ended tragically with the defendant running down Highway Officer Anastasios Tsakos and then trying to get away,” Katz said. “Posthumously promoted to detective, Officer Tsakos was struck while directing traffic and protecting New Yorkers in the aftermath of a fatal one-car crash early that morning. This is heartbreaking, and a mother is left alone to raise a 6-year-old and a 3-year-old.”
The list of charges that Beauvais is facing includes: aggravated manslaughter in the second degree; manslaughter in the second degree; aggravated criminally negligent homicide; vehicular manslaughter in the second degree; leaving the scene of an incident without reporting; unlawful fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle in the second and third degree; two counts of operating a motor vehicle while under influence of alcohol; operating a motor vehicle while impaired by combined use of drugs or of alcohol and drugs; reckless driving; aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree; and failure to exercise due care when operating a motor vehicle when approaching an authorized emergency vehicle.
If convicted, Beauvais faces up to 15 years in prison.