Girl fights for life after Jamaica crash: Brown

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JAMAICA — The driver of the SUV who police say struck a 6-year-old girl has been arraigned on charges of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and vehicular assault, according to the Queens district attorney.

Kent Lowrie, 53, of 104th Avenue in Jamaica, was arraigned last week and was scheduled to appear in court July 13, according to the Queens DA.

Zhaneya Butcher, the girl who was struck, sustained severe trauma to her head, according to the criminal complaint. As of Tuesday afternoon, Zhaneya remained in critical condition, according to a spokeswoman at North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System.

Witnesses said Zhaneya had been waiting to buy ice cream at the time of the crash.

“I heard the impact. I looked out the window and saw the little girl lying in the street,” said neighbor Stephanie Clark, 44, who lives near the corner of 168th Place and 104th Avenue, where the accident took place.

Two $1 bills were lying by the child’s feet, Clark said.

“She was waiting for the ice cream truck,” she said, explaining that several kids were playing together at 7:45 p.m. June 28 near the corner at the time of the crash.

Clark called 911 and was told to check the girl’s pulse and to see if she was breathing. The child’s legs were scraped and she had a large wound to the head, Clark said.

After Zhaneya, who several neighbors said was a resident of Brooklyn, was taken to the hospital, police investigated the scene and the SUV involved, a Mitsubishi Montero, which had a broken headlight on the driver’s side.

Lowrie was taken to the 112th Precinct, where he was administered an intoxilyzer exam, and he allegedly registered a blood alcohol level of .081 percent, according to the criminal complaint.

Lowrie admitted to drinking one 42-ounce beer at his home before getting behind the wheel, according to the criminal complaint.

Updated 11:09 am, October 12, 2011
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