New York federal judge Sandra Feuerstein killed in Florida by hit-and-run driver
Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office
(BOCA RATON, Fla.) — New York federal judge Sandra Feuerstein was killed when she was struck while walking on a sidewalk in Boca Raton, Florida, by an alleged hit-and-run driver, who also ran over a 6-year-old boy, leaving him seriously injured, according to police.
Feuerstein, 75, who was apparently vacationing in Florida, was walking on a sidewalk near the beach just after 10 a.m. on Friday when the operator of a red two-door sedan drove around stopped traffic and jumped the curb, hitting Feuerstein on the sidewalk, according to a police report of the incident obtained by ABC News.
After striking Feuerstein, the car continued on the sidewalk, hitting the child before speeding off, according to the report.
The driver kept going for another five miles before crashing in the neighboring city of Delray Beach, police said.
The suspected hit-and-run driver was identified as 23-year-old Nastasia Snape of North Lauderdale, Florida, who was arrested on suspicion of vehicular homicide, hit-and-run involving death and leaving the scene of an accident with injury.
Feuerstein was taken to Delray Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead, police said. The injured child, Anthony Ovchinnikov, was in serious condition at the hospital, according to police.
Witnesses to the hit-and-run crash provided police with a description and license plate number of the fleeing car.
About 15 minutes later, the same car was involved in the wreck in Delray Beach, according to a second police report.
Delray Beach police said Snape initially appeared to be unconscious and still behind the wheel of the red car. As officers approached the car, Snape regained consciousness and was getting out of the vehicle while apparently convulsing and exhibiting seizure-like movements, according to the report.
A police officer who first spoke to Snape, who was alone in the vehicle, said she refused to respond to questions and “stared into space,” according to the report.
Once placed in an ambulance, Snape “began to scream and fight with paramedics, stating that she was ‘Harry Potter,'” according to the report. Paramedics gave Snape 400 milligrams of the anesthetic ketamine in an attempt to calm her down, police said.
Snape was also taken to Delray Beach Medical Center, where an officer attempted to speak with her, according to the police report. Police said she denied being involved in an earlier hit-and-run incident in Boca Raton.
After searching her car and finding several small containers labeled “THC Cannabis” and the synthetic designer drug called T salts, police obtained a warrant to test her blood, according to the report. Results of the toxicological tests are pending.
Snape was booked at the Palm Beach County Jail, where she was being held Sunday on a $20,000 bond, according to online jail records.
A longtime Nassau County, New York, district court judge and New York Supreme Court justice, Feuerstein was appointed to the federal bench by former President George W. Bush in 2003 and was serving as a judge in the Eastern District of New York in Central Islip. She and her mother, Judge Annette Elstein, who died in 2020, made history as the first mother and daughter in the United States to serve as judges at the same time.
At the time of her death, Feuerstein was presiding over a high-profile murder-for-hire case in which a former New York Police Department officer is accused of hiring a hitman to kill her estranged husband. It’s unclear how Feuerstein’s death will impact the case.
Mark Lesko, the acting U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, issued a statement expressing condolences to Feuerstein’s family.
“As we mourn her tragic death,” Lesko said, “we also remember Judge Feuerstein’s unwavering commitment to justice and service to the people of our district and our nation.”
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