MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that a Hempstead woman has been convicted of assault, a B violent felony, manslaughter and additional charges for driving into a group of people, killing one and injuring two others in April 2016.
Shania Buchanan, 24, was convicted by a jury of:
- Assault in the First Degree (a B violent felony)
- Manslaughter in the Second degree (an C felony)
- Reckless Endangerment in the First Degree (a D felony)
- Assault in the Second Degree (a D felony)
- Assault in the Third Degree (an A misdemeanor)
- Reckless Driving (an unclassified misdemeanor)
The trial, before Judge Francis Ricigliano, lasted four weeks and the jury deliberated for approximately a day and a half. The defendant is due back in court April 10 and faces five to 25 years in prison on the Assault in the First Degree charge and five to 15 years in prison on the manslaughter charge. Both sentences can run consecutively.
“This defendant willfully drove into a crowd of helpless bystanders because of an ongoing and short-sighted feud,” DA Singas said. “As innocent bystanders, Barbara Reid, Betty Sanders and Jose Mena paid the price of that feud. The violence inflicted on them over nothing should remind everyone that cars are weapons and my office will hold driver’s responsible for their choices behind the wheel.”
DA Singas said on April 20, 2016 at 5:00 p.m., the defendant drove through a crowd of people standing just off the curb on Linden Avenue in Hempstead, killing 56-year-old Barbara Reid and seriously injuring two others. At the time of the incident, the defendant was recklessly driving to the scene where her mother was involved in a fight with another woman. A crowd of 40 to 50 people, including Reid, gathered to watch the fight.
The defendant was driving between 60 and 70 miles an hour as she accelerated toward the crowd, first striking 45-year-old Betty Sanders, and then 60-year-old Jose Mena who was on his bicycle. Buchanan’s 1999 Nissan Pathfinder then hit Reid, ultimately killing her. Mena suffered spinal fractures and the force of the impact snapped Sander’s femur and caused muscular damage that will cause her to limp for the rest of her life.
The defendant was arrested June 9, 2016 by Nassau County Police.
Deputy Bureau Chief Michael Bushwack and Senior Assistant District Attorney Stefanie Palma of DA Singas’ Vehicular Crimes Bureau are prosecuting this case. The defendant is represented by Jeffrey Groder, Esq.