Woman dead after driver plows into family in suburban New York

HAVERSTRAW, New York (AP) — Police said an enraged driver plowed his car into a family of eight, including a baby and five children, outside a store in Rockland County on Wednesday, killing a 32-year-old woman and injuring several others.

Police believe an argument between the family and the driver, identified as 35-year-old Jason Mendez, of Washingtonville, may have precipitated the afternoon attack at a 7-Eleven store in the Town of Haverstraw.

Police said the driver hit all eight members of the family and smashed into the storefront before he reversed the vehicle and drove forward again, striking the family a second time.

All of the family members were hospitalised. The woman was later pronounced dead. Police have not released her name. A 35-year-old man and six children, including a two-year-old child, were treated for non-life threatening injuries.

The knife-wielding Mendez was arrested at the scene after police used a stun gun to subdue him.

“He didn’t say anything initially to the police officers,” said Haverstraw Police Captain Martin Lund. “He refused to drop the knife. Then he was tazed at the scene and taken down.”

Mendez pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on murder and attempted murder charges on Wednesday night. It was not clear if he had a lawyer who could comment on the charges.

An investigator stands behind the crime scene tape outside a damaged window of a convenience store in Garnerville, New York. – AP