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Driver in Jamaica accident charged with manslaughter

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Patricia Pauling, 54, of Cornaga Avenue in Far Rockaway was initially arrested on charges of driving drunk after her white van careened into four parked cars along Sutphin Boulevard before striking 33-year-old German Acosta-Disla of Jamaica in December, DA Richard Brown said.

Pauling was charged last week with manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and driving under intoxication after detectives compiled evidence to support the charges, Brown said. She faces 15 years in prison if convicted, he said.

"The defendant, who was originally arrested for driving while intoxicated, has now been additionally charged with reckless manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide as the result of further investigation by the New York City Police Department Accident Investigation Squad detectives and prosecutors assigned to my Homicide Investigations Bureau," Brown said in a statement.

"The defendant has been accused of operating her vehicle recklessly and taking the victim's life as a result of her criminal negligence and faces up to 15 years in prison," he said.

Pauling was driving on Sutphin Boulevard in Jamaica about 2 p.m. on Dec. 27 when she allegedly plowed into a row of parked cars, Brown said. Acosta-Disla, an off-duty NYPD traffic agent, was standing on the street in front of the Aduwa Pharmacy at 114-32 Sutphin Blvd. and was waiting to get in his car when Pauling hit him, the DA said.

Acosta-Disla was taken to Mary Immaculate Hospital in extremely critical condition with multiple body fractures, police said. He died just days after the crash.

Pauling, who was alone in her white van, was unsteady on her feet and was slurring her speech when police arrived, Sgt. John Dorst of the 113th Precinct said at the time of the accident. She had a blood alcohol level of .223, nearly three times the legal limit of .08, Brown said.

Reach reporter Courtney Dentch by e-mail at news@timesledger.com, or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.

Posted 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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