Alabama man busted for 2021 fatal hit-and-run that killed a Forest Hills grandmother in Glendale: NYPD

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An Alabama man was indicted for leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death after a 2021 fatal hit-and-run on Cooper Avenue in Glendale left a Forest Hills grandmother dead.
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A Queens grand jury indicted an Alabama man in connection to a September 2021 fatal hit-and-run collision in Glendale that killed a grandmother from Forest Hills.

Edward Garzon, 43, of Dothan, Alabama was arrested Thursday morning and booked at the 111th Precinct in Bayside, where he was charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in the death of 79-year-old Helena Conti, according to the NYPD. The senior lived on Dartmouth Street across from Forest Hills Stadium.

Garzon, who lived in Howard Beach when the fatal collision occurred, was arraigned in Queens Supreme Court on Thursday, nearly two-and-a-half years after he struck the senior as she crossed Cooper Avenue near 83rd Street on the evening of December 13, 2021.

Police said the mother of three with six grandchildren had just finished buying Christmas gifts at The Shops at Atlas Park in Glendale just before 5 p.m. and was heading back to her car, which was parked along the southern edge of St. John Cemetery.

According to the charges, Garzon was behind the wheel of a black 2015 Mercedes Benz S550 headed eastbound on Cooper Avenue between 82nd and 83rd Street. Conti was crossing the roadway and without slowing or steering from a straight path, Gazon struck Conti, then left the scene without stopping.

Police from the 104th Precinct in Ridgewood responded to a 911 call of a vehicle collision at the location and found the victim lying on the street with severe trauma to her body and head. EMS rushed her to Elmhurst Hospital, where she was pronounced dead due to severe head trauma suffered during the collision.

After an insurance claim for damage was filed, investigators found the Mercedes at a local body shop where it had been dropped off for repair. Investigators obtained DNA samples consistent with the victim from the vehicle’s windshield, headlight, and other plastic remnants from the 2015 Mercedes Benz.

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz secured the grand jury indictment against Garzon and an arrest warrant was issued. Katz formed a Vehicular Homicide Unit shortly after taking office in 2020 to not only investigate current cases but to examine older ones in which no arrest had been made.

“I created a Vehicular Homicide Unit and assembled experts to make sure that every family gets closure,” Katz said. “Working with our partners at the NYPD, we reviewed unsolved cases and today we’re announcing that a defendant will be held accountable for the death of a woman who was hit and left to die on a Queens street in December 2021.”

Supreme Court Justice Michael Hartofilis set bail at $10,000 and ordered Garzon to return to court on July 22. Garzon faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.