The father of a 23 year old student critically wounded in a car accident caused by an allegedly drunken detective vowed to sue the city and Police Department this week for his son’s near fatal injuries, sources said.
Nickossi Mathurin, a highway inspector and part time student, suffered a broken jaw, skull fractures and a collapsed lung last Thursday after an off duty detective slammed into his Honda Civic while attempting to make a left turn near the corner of Woodhaven Boulevard and Furmanville Avenue in Rego Park.
Both motorists were taken to Elmhurst Hospital Center, where the officer, John Duggan, 41, was listed in stable condition with injuries to his head and ankle. The 20 year veteran of the NYPD has been charged with driving while intoxicated and is serving a 30 day suspension without pay, pending the outcome of a criminal investigation. He was released from the hospital Monday.
In charging the detective with drunken driving, police pointed to witness testimony that the detective’s breath smelled of alcohol after the accident. Duggan refused to take a Breathalyzer test at the scene, and investigators said other signs of intoxication — namely slurred speech and unstable posture — were inconclusive because the suspect had incurred ankle and head injuries.
A criminal court judge later blocked investigators’ efforts to obtain a blood alcohol sampling from Duggan, ruling that the smell of his breath was not substantial enough to merit a search warrant. But police contend that witness testimony from an off duty paramedic would be enough to substantiate their charge.
Mathurin, meanwhile, remains unconscious following the accident, but is breathing on his own and recently began responding to stimuli. He was initially expected to die of his wounds, but hospital officials upgraded his condition from “critical” to “serious but stable.” His father, Brian, has kept vigil by his bedside.
Nickossi Mathurin, known by friends and family as “Nick,” was born in Guyana and moved to the United States when he was three. He is a graduate of Lafayette High School in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, and has been taking classes at the New York City College of Technology.
Relatives said Mathurin had been a pillar of strength for his family since the unexpected death of his mother five months ago. The young man reportedly gave his father $500 before the accident to help him pay his bills.