BY JON CRONIN
A Richmond Hill man has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for manslaughter and second-degree assault after he killed a mother and seriously injured her child last year in Ozone Park, the Queens district attorney said.
Jairam Budhu, 59, of 125th Street in Richmond Hill, pled guilty to second-degree manslaughter and second-degree assault.
Budhu was driving with a suspended license in Ozone Park last year when he ran a stop sign and crashed into another car, killing a 40-year-old woman and critically injuring her 9-year-old daughter.
At approximately 5:06 p.m. on July 17, 2016, Budhu was driving at approximately 60 miles per hour in his black 2002 BMW, heading west on 115th Avenue and passing other vehicles while in the oncoming traffic lane. Then, he maneuvered back into the correct lane, drove through a stop sign at the intersection of 130th Street and hit the passenger’s side of a Toyota, Queens DA Richard Brown said.
The impact caused Zaalika Rasool, 40, and her 9-year-old daughter to be thrown from the vehicle.
Rasool was brought by EMS to a local hospital where she died of severe head trauma. Her daughter was also brought to the hospital with serious physical injuries, including head trauma, but survived the crash.
After the crash, Budhu fled the scene. Two days later, at approximately 8:30 a.m. on July 19, police arrested Budhu, who was drinking alcohol on the front porch of a home at 103rd Avenue.
The NYPD later discovered that Budhu’s driver’s license had been suspended for failure to pay a driver responsibility assessment on May 19, 2016.
The judge gave an indeterminate sentence of two and one third years to seven years on the manslaughter charge and a concurrent three-year term on the assault charge to be followed by three years’ postrelease supervision.
“The defendant’s senseless behavior is responsible for the death of a young mother and causing serious injury to her child as well as extreme emotional trauma and turmoil to their family,” Brown said. “Under the circumstances, the sentence imposed by the court is justified.”
Reach Jon Cronin at 718-357-7400 x125, firstname.lastname@example.org or @JonathanSCronin