BRIGHTON — The young woman charged in the deadly crash that killed a 9-year-old girl and her babysitter, a Farmington woman, the day before Thanksgiving was in Brighton Town Court Wednesday afternoon.
Ninoshka Vasquez-Ruiz pleaded not guilty to criminally negligent homicide and assault.
Brighton Police say Vasquez-Ruiz was driving on a learner's permit on Edgewood Avenue the day before Thanksgiving. Her 1-month-old baby was in the back seat. The Brighton police chief said the car was going 63 mph.
"When I spoke with the family on Friday — these are their words, not mine — they said those are highway speeds," Chief David Catholdi said.
Catholdi said the car crashed into a telephone pole, cut it in two and went another 50 feet, sometimes airborne, and hit and killed 9-year-old Mila Ruangsuwana, hit and injured her 2-year-old brother, Evan, and hit and killed their babysitter Elimra Hall of Farmington.
At defense attorney Teo Siguenza's request, this case is going to the grand jury.
When asked about potential penalties, Monroe County Assistant District Attorney Ray Benitez said, "Well, criminally negligent homicide is a Class E felony. The maximum period of incarceration is one and one-third to four years in state prison. But there is no floor or no minimum."
That means, if she is found guilty or pleads guilty, Vasquez-Ruiz could get a conditional discharge, a fine, a couple of days in jail or probation.
"She's upset," Siguenza said when he as asked how Vasquez-Ruiz was doing. "What this is is a tragic accident. it's not a crime, I'll tell you that right now." He said his client was tired and fell asleep at the wheel.
"Without getting in too much with the facts, she just had a baby. Her 1-month-old baby was in the car ... What I believe happened here is that she just had this brand new baby. She was up all night with him. She had a doctor's appointment with him the next morning, which again, I believe, will all be verified through law enforcement. She took the baby to the doctor's. She was on very little sleep. She was returning home and there was an accident," Siguenza said.