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"Flash Flood Watch" ...Flash Flood Watch in effect from midnight EDT tonight through Monday morning... The National Weather Service in Upton has issued a * Flash Flood Watch for portions of northeast New Jersey and southeast New York, including the following areas, in northeast New Jersey, eastern Bergen, eastern Essex, eastern Passaic, eastern Union, Hudson, western Bergen, western Essex, western Passaic, and western Union. In southeast New York, Bronx, Kings (brooklyn), New York (manhattan), northern Nassau, northern Queens, northwestern Suffolk, Orange, Richmond (staten island), Rockland, southern Nassau, southern Queens, southern Westchester, and southwestern Suffolk. * From midnight EDT tonight through Monday morning * an area of low pressure will develop along a frontal boundary to our south and pass just south and east of Long Island. Rainfall rates of 1 to 2 inches an hour are possible and may lead to flash flooding the New York City Metro and surrounding areas. Flash flooding will also be possible for portions of the lower Hudson Valley. Precautionary/preparedness actions... A Flash Flood Watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding. Flash flooding is a very dangerous situation. You should monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action should flash flood warnings be issued. -- Sunday Jul.23 17,10:24 PM

Arrest Made in the June Hit-and-Run of Karen Benjamin

The driver who struck Karen Benjamin, Thomas Costa, has been charged with Leaving the Scene of an Incident Without Reporting and Speeding.

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Yesterday District Attorney Thomas Spota announced an arrest and indictment in the June hit-and-run of Karen Benjamin. She passed away from the injuries she recieved from being hit while jogging on Canal Road a month later. The man behind the wheel was Thomas Costa. The 31-year-old Coram resident was charged with Leaving the Scene of an Incident Without Reporting, as a D Felony, and Speeding. He plead not guilty to all charges.
 
“Thomas Costa, struck Ms. Benjamin while she was jogging on Canal Road in Mount Sinai and left her in the road with injuries that ultimately claimed her life.” Said Spota. “His thoughtlessness and criminal behaviour caused the death of a vibrant 56-year old woman.”
 
The eyewitness report given by police and the forensic analysis of car parts collected at the scene of the collision, helped the county crime lab narrow down a list of BMW’s from one particular model and year. After going from house to house, the Suffolk County Police Department’s Vehicle Crimes Unit found a damaged BMW that fit the make and model. The BMW which struck Benjamin was parked against a fence in the side yard of Costa’s parent’s house.
 
Detectives Questioned Costa's parents and learned he got home 18 minutes after the crash. When the car was inspected they noticed the windshield was smashed, the side mirror was completely knocked off, and blood spatter was on the BMW. “It was the victim, Karen Benjamin, who told us who the killer was,” Spota said, “in that her DNA was in the blood found on the BMW.
 
Karen Benjamin, 56, a nurse’s assistant, leaves behind two children.
 
UPDATE, 10:30 AM, TUESDAY: A petition was started by Karen Benjamin's daughter, Lindsay Benjamin, to keep Thomas Costa in jail for vehicular manslaughter. Currently he's charged with fleeing the scene of a crime and the maximum sentence he'd recieve is two to seven years. "We want to petition to change that." Benjamin says in the petition. "We want to keep Thomas Costa in Jail for Vehicular Manslaughter without bargaining for a plea deal. No Bail. Nothing. We want to keep a man like Thomas Costa off the streets."
 
[Source: Thomas Spota]