Protesters lobby against bail in wrong-way crash
Dozens of people protested in White Plains Monday over the decision to allow bail for a suspected drunken driver.
The group gathered outside White Plains City Courthouse as firefighter Erik Refvik showed up to face a judge on charges in a deadly wrong-way crash. Prosecutors say Erik Refvik, 34, was driving the wrong way on South Lexington Avenue near the Galleria Mall when he crashed into a car at the intersection of Martine Avenue on Nov. 4.
The other car was carrying a couple who were delivering newspapers. The passenger, 47-year-old Reyda LaMadrid, of Harrison, was pronounced dead at the scene. The car's driver, 49-year-old Edgar Lopez, was taken to Westchester Medical Center with serious injuries.
Investigators say Refvik, a four-year veteran of the White Plains Fire Department, had a blood alcohol content of .145, which is nearly twice the legal limit. He has been charged with criminally negligent homicide and DWI.
Refvik left the courthouse Monday after paying 10 percent of his $25,000 bail, but friends of LaMadrid say he should not be free.
"If this guy would have been black or Hispanic, he would have gotten no bail ... if he would have killed a white woman, he would have been buried," said community activist Fernando Matteo.
Refvik was previously convicted of a DWI in 2003. He paid a $500 fine and his license was revoked for six months.