An off-duty NYPD police officer is accused of driving drunk and killing a woman after striking her with his vehicle and leaving her for dead.
Officer Andrew Kelly was arrested after mowing down Vionique Valnord as she left a wedding early Sunday morning. Witnesses and friends of the victim say Valnord was trying to hail a taxi when Kelly’s Jeep rammed into her at close to 45 mph.
One of the witnesses, Richard Augustin, described the scene to The New York Post saying:
“I saw her body in the air, flipping and twisting, and I heard it hit the ground.”
She later died of her injuries at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn.
At least two other passengers were in Kelly’s car and are accused of fleeing the scene as well. Investigators believe the passengers were all drinking and fled the scene seconds after the collision. One of the passengers was another off-duty officer as well.
Police Commissioner, Raymond Kelly, confirmed the suspicions of drunk driving to reporters saying:
“The officers who responded to that accident detected a smell of alcohol on the driver’s breath.”
Police on the scene also report that his speech was slurred and his eyes were bloodshot red and watery. Kelly refused to take a breathalyzer test and investigators were forced to issue a warrant to draw his blood. He was freed on $20,000 bail after being arraigned.
Vionique’s father and pastor of Church of God in Brooklyn, Varius Valnord, expressed his grief to The Post saying:
“I feel sad, very sad. That is my only daughter. My daughter is a very nice young woman; she is very sweet. I miss my daughter. This is not the way it should happen.”
Such a sad and senseless case. My thoughts and prayers go out to this family.