A Brooklyn man was charged with manslaughter Monday after allegedly causing a head-on car crash in North Hills Sunday afternoon that killed his pregnant girlfriend.
Courtney Corbett, 28, was the getaway driver for the girlfriend and another woman who allegedly stole from a Manhasset makeup store on Sunday before the crash, Detective Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick, the commanding officer of the Nassau County Police Department’s homicide unit, said.
“He put them all in harm’s way,” Fitzpatrick said Monday during a news conference at police headquarters in Mineola.
Corbett was driving away from the Sephora cosmetics shop at 1950 Northern Blvd. in Manhasset at 3:50 p.m. when a Nassau County cop started following him after hearing a report of a larceny at the store, Fitzpatrick said.
Corbett’s apparent girlfriend or fiancee, Demytrya Gibbs, was sitting in the front seat with a seatbelt on, and another woman, Khadisah Greene, was in the back seat with no seatbelt, according to Fitzpatrick and a criminal complaint filed against Corbett.
Corbett turned left off Northern Boulevard onto Shelter Rock Road, speeding and swerving through traffic in the black 2013 Hyundai Sonata as the officer chased him with his car’s lights and siren on, according to Fitzpatrick and the criminal complaint.
Corbett then turned right onto the Long Island Expressway’s South Service Road, speeding westbound on the eastbound one-way road, police said.
Corbett and the two women traveled nearly a mile before running head-on into an Audi that had just left the expressway at exit 35, Fitzpatrick said. A man was driving the Audi with his 13- and 14-year-old sons as passengers.
Gibbs, 27, was unresponsive at the scene and taken to a local hospital, where she and her unborn baby were pronounced dead, police said.
The cop stopped following Corbett after he turned onto the service road, judging it to be dangerous to chase him against the flow of traffic, police said.
“The officer’s actions were correct,” Fitzpatrick said.
Corbett was arrested and treated for minor cuts to his left arm and hand at a local hospital, Fitzpatrick said. Greene was hospitalized and treated for head and neck injuries, he said.
An ambulance took the Audi’s driver to a hospital, where he was treated for back pain, police said. The two boys were unharmed.
Corbett was arraigned Monday at First District Court in Hempstead on one charge of second-degree manslaughter, two charges of third-degree assault and one charge of reckless driving.
Police are continuing to investigate larcenies and shoplifting at several stores in Manhasset with which the three may have been involved, Fitzpatrick said. Neither Corbett nor Greene have been charged yet with any crimes in connection to them.
“There’s credit card fraud that we’re looking at and other types of crimes that are still ongoing,” Fitzpatrick said.
Corbett has one prior robbery conviction, Fitzpatrick said.