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Former White Plains Firefighter Charged In Fatal Wrong-Way Crash

Erik Refvik
Erik Refvik Photo Credit: Westchester County District Attorney's Office

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Erik Refvik, a former White Plains firefighter, has been arraigned and charged with 16-counts in the wrong-way crash that killed a woman and seriously injured a man in November 2014, according to the Westchester County District Attorney.

Refvik was accused of being intoxicated and driving down South Lexington Avenue,in the wrong direction before crashing head-on into a vehicle on Nov. 3, 2014, according to the District Attorney's Office.

The charges are related to the death of Reyda La Madrid and the serious injuries to Edgar Lopez.

Refvik was driving a 2001 Chevrolet Tahoe at approximately 65 miles per hour when it collided with a 2000 Honda Civic that was waiting at a traffic light, the District Attorney's Office said. The force of the head-on collision, pushed the Honda nearly half the length of football field down South Lexington Avenue, the District Attorney's Office said.

Over a span of nearly 12 hours preceding the collision, the defendant was seen on video drinking at a minimum of four bars on Mamaroneck Avenue in downtown White Plains, according to the District Attorney's Office.

At the time of the collision, experts put the defendant’s blood alcohol content (BAC) at .21, more than two and a half times the legal limit, according to the DA. In addition, he had a cocktail of exacerbating substances in his system which consisted of cocaine, clonazepam and bath salts, according to the District Attorney's Office.

The defendant was arrested at the Westchester Medical Center that same day by the White Plains police.

Refvik was arraigned and charged with the following:

  • Four counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, class “B” felonies
  • One count of manslaughter in the second degree, a class “C” felony
  • One count of vehicular assault in the first degree, a class “D” felony
  • One count of aggravated driving while Intoxicated, a class “A” Misdemeanor
  • Two counts of driving while Intoxicated, class “A” misdemeanors
  • One count of driving while ability impaired by drugs, a class “A” misdemeanor
  • One count of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, a class “A” misdemeanor
  • One count of reckless driving, an unclassified VTL misdemeanor
  • Various vehicle and traffic law Infractions.

Bail was increased to $50,000. His next court appearance will be on Thursday, March 26. He faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.

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