Murugesapillai was driving up Blvd. East between 60th and 61st streets at around 9:30 p.m. with six passengers. His niece was allegedly being held by her mother and not secured in a car seat, Indri said. He allegedly veered into oncoming traffic and struck another vehicle.
The child was first brought to Jersey City Medical Center, and upon arrival there, she was airlifted to Hackensack University Medical Center, where she died at around 2 a.m., Indri reported.
"If that child had been strapped in, it would have just been a bad accident with a DUI," Indri stated, "but now there's a 1-year-old dead."
Murugesapillai was charged with vehicular homicide, endangering the welfare of a child, assault by auto, reckless driving, not having a child-restraint system and four other DUI charges, Indri said.
"It's a tragedy ten times over," Indri added. "There is nothing the court could do that would ever truly serve justice in this matter. It's so frustrating and heartbreaking because it was avoidable." -- Gennarose Pope