A Long Island man facing trial for the fatal beating of a Chelsea clubgoer was accused of additional fatalities in a recent drunk driving accident. The accused murder suspect was heavily intoxicated and drove his SUV into a livery cab, killing the driver and her passenger.
The horrific accident occurred on November 16th, around 3 a.m. in Astoria, Queens. The drunk driver, Daryush Omar, blew right through a red light in his 2004 Range Rover and hit the livery cab dead on, according to police sources.
The driver of the livery cab,Bessie Velasquez, a 41-year-old single mom working two full-time jobs to support her two teenage girls, and passenger Panayiota Demetriou, 30, a child psychologist at Brookdale University Hospital, were lost in the accident.
Many close associates in Fort Greene, Brooklyn are enraged that the killer of Valasquez was free even though facing murder charges. “It’s shocking. I can’t even believe what is going on,” said neighbor Joanna Colon. “It’s a terrible loss for the children because she was such a great mother to them. She would do anything for her kids.
“Anything,” for Velasquez, a Honduran immigrant, included working a day shift cleaning planes at La Guardia Airport, then driving the cab at night.
Omar, a 24-year-old, was charged with vehicular manslaughter and other crimes, according to a spokesperson for Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. He was driving with a suspended license, sources said. Police sources say that Omar confessed to having at least two drinks at a nightclub, and that he failed a breath test.
In May 2006, Omar and two friends accosted financial analyst Thomas Whitney outside the West 19th Street hotspot Spy Lounge. They allegedly beat him to death with a steel pipe and stole his wallet.
Omar, of Plainfield, LI, has been free on his own recognizance since Feb. 9, 2007.