The 34-year-old firefighter charged with DWI and criminally negligent homicide after allegedly driving his SUV the wrong way and hitting another vehicle, killing a newspaper delivery woman and injuring her husband, may also have had drugs in his system at the time of the crash, according to law enforcement sources.
Erik Refvik was released from custody after making bail Thursday. Sources close to the investigation say that based on possible evidence found in Refvik's car, tests are being conducted to see whether he was under the influence of drugs, including cocaine and MDMA, at the time of the crash. The source says that there were indications the man drank heavily for hours before the crash.
Police said Refvik, a four-year veteran with the White Plains Fire Department who was off-duty at the time of the crash, had a blood alcohol level of .145, nearly double the legal limit. He has been suspended from his job without pay during the investigation.
Investigators think Refvik was driving near Post Road when he allegedly turned the wrong way onto on South Lexington Avenue. He allegedly T-boned the Honda carrying 47-year-old Reyda La Madrid and her 49-year-old husband, Edgar Lopez, as they crossed South Lexington Avenue.
Police say the Chevrolet Tahoe Refvik was driving continued on South Lexington Avenue after the crash, pushing the Honda about 200 feet down the road and trapping the couple inside. Refvik was allegedly speeding at the time of the crash.
La Madrid was pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities say she was in the back seat folding newspapers at the time of the impact. She was an independent contractor delivery service provider for Publisher's Circulation Fulfillment, Inc.
The company said in a statement it was "saddened by this devastating accident and our thoughts and condolences go out to all of Ms. La Madrid's Family."
Her husband was taken to the hospital with internal and upper body injuries. Lopez and La Madrid moved to New York from Peru. They have two children, ages 19 and 14.