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A woman is tragically dead after the vehicle she was riding in crashed just off Laurelton Parkway in the early morning hours of Feb. 20, according to local law enforcement. New York authorities responded to the single-car accident around 4:20 a.m. The driver has been taken to a local hospital, but it is unclear whether he will be facing charges at this time. 

According to the accident report, the vehicle was traveling south on Laurelton Parkway in Queens when it apparently struck a guardrail. The force of the impact was so great that the car was launched into the air before it struck a tree stump. The second impact caused the car to burst into flames.

Medical personnel arriving on the scene pronounced the female passenger, who has yet to be identified, dead at the accident site. The driver, a 27-year-old male, was rushed to a local hospital for treatment of injuries that are non-life-threatening. The local medical examiner is booking an autopsy to determine the woman’s cause of death, as well as her identity. 

As the investigation continues, it remains possible that New York police will charge the driver with a crime, particularly if it is determined he was reckless, negligent or intoxicated at the time of the fatal car accident. Even if he is not criminally charged, however, the family of the deceased passenger is entitled to file a wrongful death suit against him in civil court. Any evidence accrued from the police investigation suggesting he was in some way responsible for the accident could be used to support such a case. 

Source: New York Post, “Passenger dies after car goes airborne, bursts into flames“, Natalie Musumeci, Feb. 20, 2016