Friday, July 08, 2005

Before taking that next drink.............

Just think, this could happen to you.
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Mom Gives Account Of Wedding Crash That Killed Girl In Limo

MINEOLA, N.Y. - Two days after 7-year-old flower girl Kate Flynn died in a wedding limousine struck by an allegedly drunken driver, her grieving mother described how she cradled her daughter's severed head as others were rescued from the carnage. "As I crawled out of the car, the only thing that was left of Kate was her head," Jennifer Flynn said Monday from a lectern at Winthrop University Hospital.

"And I took her -- just that -- and sat on the side of the Meadowbrook (Parkway) and watched the horrendousness going on around me. I sat there for about an hour with her as they cut my entire family out of this crushed tin can that we survived."

Flynn's remarks, intended to emphasize the consequences of drunken driving, were met with stunned silence from reporters, photographers and TV camera crews. State police confirmed that the little girl was decapitated in the crash.

Flynn, who has been released from the hospital, was riding in the limo with four other family members after her sister's wedding.

The limo driver, Stanley Rabinowitz, 59, also was killed.

Still being hospitalized are Flynn's parents, Chris Tangney, 58, and Denise Tangney, 55, in critical but stable condition; her other daughter, Grace Flynn, 5, who is under observation; and her husband, Neil Flynn, in stable condition.

Grace and Kate were flower girls at their aunt's wedding at a country club in Bayville. The Flynns also have two sons.

Flynn's mother is running for a city council seat in Long Beach and her brother, Michael Tangney, is a Long Beach police lieutenant.

Police alleged that Martin Heidgen drove the wrong way on the southbound Meadowbrook Parkway when his pickup truck crashed into the limousine around 2 a.m. Saturday.

Heidgen, who suffered a fractured ankle, moved to Valley Stream from Little Rock, Ark., in 2004 after landing a job at a Wall Street financial company. He was arraigned Sunday and charged with two counts of second-degree manslaughter and driving while intoxicated, and held without bail at the Nassau County jail. He was ordered to return to court on Thursday.

"Horrible, Horrible," his mother, Margot Heidgen, of Valley Stream told The New York Times. "My heart is broken for them and for everybody. It's a tragedy."

Flynn said she decided to speak to reporters after reading newspaper accounts of the crash.

"Reading in the paper again yesterday that someone's in stable condition or in critical condition but they're expected to make it, it's so much more than that," she said.

"Drunk driving did this to us," Flynn said. "I don't want people to think this was a car accident. It was so much more ... Kate was stolen from us. ... But the life that she led -- and I want people to know this too -- was fabulous ... But she was taken, and it was taken with drunk driving."

"Our family has been torn apart," said Flynn. "We need prayers and we need to be left alone."


Erin said...

That poor woman, and her family...that is horrific.
We are praying for them and the person responsible, who will feel terribly, awfully, horribly guilty, if he does not already.
I can not even begin to imagine the magnitude of pain involved, from the mother of that little girl to the (alleged) drunk driver, to his mother, and all of the friends and family in between.
We are praying for them all.

Valerie Dykstra said...

Oh my, what a tragedy. I don't know what to say.

Anonymous said...

Stan the limo driver.