A 34-year-old Brooklyn woman allegedly had a crack pipe on the floor of her Ford Mustang and was drunk when police say she drove into a Forever 21 store in midtown and hit several pedestrians Wednesday night.
Stella Mednik was charged Thursday with criminal possession of a controlled substance and driving while intoxicated, among other offenses, hours after her vehicle slammed into the Herald Square store in what police say was an attempt to flee from a crash with another car. Police allegedly found a second crack pipe in the trunk of her vehicle following the 9 p.m. crash Wednesday.
Mednik, a passenger in her car, a Forever 21 employee and four other pedestrians were all injured.
Police say Mednik, who law enforcement sources tell NBC 4 New York is an ex-lawyer with a suspended license, was driving her Mustang on West 34th Street when it rear-ended an SUV. She allegedly put the car in reverse in an apparent attempt to flee and hit a second car. After the second impact, police say the Mustang jumped the curb and plowed into the store and pedestrians.
Six people were seriously hurt and one had minor injuries; it wasn't clear how badly Mednik was hurt. All seven people were taken to Belleveue Hospital and were listed in stable condition Thursday.
Mednik's blood alcohol level was nearly twice the .08 threshold for drunk-driving charges, police said. She remained in custody at the hospital Thursday evening and it wasn't clear if she had an attorney.
A man who answered the doorbell at Mednik's last known address in Brooklyn said she no longer lived there. .
The crash startled pedestrians at one of the city's busiest intersections. Shopper Rockelle Grenee said Thursday she was shocked more people were not hurt.
"With all the people out here shopping she could have done a lot of damage," Grenee said.
The store reopened Thursday despite minor damage. A message for patrons hung near shredded wood in the front that read, "Sorry for the inconvenience, please use revolving doors."
-- Katherine Creag and Tracie Strahan contributed to this report.