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A Drunk Driver Slams Their Car Into A Police Cruiser After A Lengthy Chase

Leaving the scene of an accident is treated as a serious crime in New York. Under New York law, any driver involved in an accident is expected to stop and share insurance and driver’s license information with the other parties involved. Failure to do so can mean consequences above and beyond insurance premium increases and personal liability for injuries. 

Leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage only is not a criminal offense in New York. It is treated as a traffic citation. Leaving the scene of an accident involving injury is charged as a Class B misdemeanor. It can carry a sentence of up to 90 days in jail. An accident involving serious injury is charged as a Class E felony and an accident involving the death of another person is a Class D felony. 

The New York Daily News reports that a drunk driver has been charged after slamming a stolen vehicle into a police cruiser. 

36-year-old James Cornelius is facing a slew of charges after allegedly leading police on a meandering chase through the city on June 11th. At the time of the incident, Cornelius was behind the wheel of a stolen Jeep. 

Cornelius was driving in the wrong direction at about 8:30 p.m. along Second Avenue. Police tried to block him from driving any further. Instead of stopping, Cornelius drove around the cruiser and continued on Second Avenue. 

He was nearly involved in a collision as he turned onto E. 19th Street. He stopped at a traffic light at the intersection of E. 19th Street and Irving Place, but as police approached the vehicle, he sped away. 

While making his escape, he sideswiped an SUV parked outside Gramercy Park on E. 21st Avenue and Lexington Avenue. 

He turned east again onto Second Avenue. From there, he turned right on E. 18th Street, and, again, he headed in the wrong direction. He then made a left onto Park Avenue South and veered into oncoming traffic, striking the police cruiser head-on. 

There was an open bottle of liquor in the front seat of the Jeep. Cornelius and two police officers were treated for injuries at Bellevue Hospital.

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