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Freeport, NY - Police: Suspected Drunk Driver Mitchell Messling Hits, Injures Family of 4 Pedestrians

South Long Beach Avenue and West Merrick Road
Published: May 30, 2019
By: Stephen Hayward
Last Updated on November 21, 2020

Vehicle Drives Onto Sidewalk, Injuring 4 Pedestrians

Four pedestrians were hit by a suspected drunk driver after his vehicle drove up onto a sidewalk in Freeport on Monday, May 27. Those injured included two adults and two children.

According to the police, 66-year-old Mitchell Messling lost control of his vehicle while driving along West Merrick Road near the intersection with South Long Beach Avenue on Monday afternoon. He allegedly crashed into a woman, her boyfriend, and two children who were all walking on the sidewalk. The two children were ages 9 and 11.

Court documents say that police at the scene reported that Messling had glassy eyes and slurred speech. He took a Breathalyzer test nearly two hours after the crash and his blood alcohol level measured at 0.17. Messling also allegedly told police at the scene, “I had one drink, it was vodka Sprite.”

All of the victims were listed in stable condition as of Tuesday. The 11-year-old was airlifted to Cohen Children’s Medical Center and treated for a concussion and broken arm.

Messling has been charged with DWI and assault and his license has been suspended.

laurence p banville esquire
Hi. My name is Laurence Banville.
I am licensed to practice law in New York and Washington, D.C. If you or a loved one needs legal assistance, I’d be happy to speak with you.
(888) 997-3792

Legal Options For People Injured by Drunk Drivers in New York

Attorney contributor Laurence Banville is a personal injury attorney with experience representing people who have been hit by drunk drivers in New York. Here are some thoughts Laurence has given The Legal Herald on the legal options available to people injured in these crashes in the state of New York and wondering if there could be a settlement after getting hit by a drunk driver:

New York is one of several states with multiple types of lawsuits available to people who have been injured by drunk drivers. People injured in these crashes may have the option to file a personal injury lawsuit against the drunk driver. Additionally, some drunk driving injury cases also qualify for something called a dram shop lawsuit, which can be filed against an alcohol vendor for unlawfully serving someone who injures others in an alcohol-related incident.

In order to have a case for a dram shop lawsuit, the injured party’s legal counsel must establish that an unlawful sale of alcohol played a role in causing the crash. There are two types of unlawful sales that can prompt a dram shop lawsuit:

  • The person who caused the accident was given alcohol even though they were visibly intoxicated, or
  • under 21 years of age

If an alcohol vendor serves someone who is visibly intoxicated or younger than 21 years old and that person causes an accident, the people injured in that accident may have grounds for a lawsuit against both the person who caused the crash and the vendor who served that person.

You can learn more about your legal options after being hit by a drunk driver by speaking with an experienced car accident attorney in a free consultation.


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About the Author
Stephen Hayward
About Stephen Hayward
Editor: Stephen Hayward has been with for almost 5 years. Stephen has a masters in English from Harvard and has been writing in the legal space for the last 7 years. Stephen has covered a range of topics including following mass torts and sexual assault lawsuits. Contact Stephen: This article was fact checked prior to publishing by this author to ensure compliance with our rigorous editorial standards. We will only use authoritative sources. Our values compel us to provide only trustworthy information. If you find an error, please contact us.
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