This weekend, police identified the victim as Sandra J. Feuerstein — a longtime federal judge in the Eastern District of New York, the Palm Beach Post reported, who was most recently presiding over a headline-making case against a former New York police officer accused of orchestrating a hit on her husband.
Authorities arrested Nastasia Snape, 23, after she allegedly crashed again five miles away. First responders said she was disoriented and aggressive and claimed she was Harry Potter, according to a police affidavit. In her bag, police say, they found bottles labeled “THC cannabis” and a synthetic drug called “T salts,” which police noted is “commonly known to cause erratic” behavior.
Snape was charged with negligent vehicular manslaughter and two counts of hit-and-run, according to Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office booking records.
This weekend, Feuerstein’s colleagues paid tribute to her career.
“As we mourn her tragic death, we also remember Judge Feuerstein’s unwavering commitment to justice and service to the people of our district and our nation,” Mark Lesko, acting U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement Saturday.
Feuerstein earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont in 1966 and worked as a public school teacher in New York City for five years. She went back to school and graduated from Yeshiva University’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in 1979. After law school, Feuerstein worked as a clerk for the New York Supreme Court and the New York State Appellate Division.
She became a judge for the Nassau County District Court in 1987, and was elected as a justice for the New York Supreme Court Tenth Judicial District in 1994.
Feuerstein had recently made headlines for presiding over a case involving former NYPD officer Valerie Cincinelli, who was accused of paying her boyfriend to hire a hit man to kill her estranged husband and her boyfriend’s teenage daughter. In 2010, Feuerstein also sentenced a former Nassau County legislator accused in a bribery scheme to 18 months in prison for tax evasion.
The fatal collision occurred just after 10 a.m., when Snape, 23, swerved around stopped vehicles and drove onto the sidewalk along an oceanside street near Spanish River Park, police said.
Snape fled the scene in a red sedan with a bumblebee bumper sticker, according to police. She crashed again five miles north, where officers found her having convulsions in the driver’s seat, according to a police affidavit.
The driver told first responders she was okay, but stared blankly and did not make eye contact, police said. Snape also appeared confused when medics and police responded to the second crash. She told an officer she remembered being in a collision, but when asked about the specific details, she responded,
“I wasn’t in a crash,” according to the affidavit. She also appeared agitated and combative, police said.
“Snape was taken to the ambulance and once inside, began to scream and fight with medics stating she was ‘Harry Potter,’” the affidavit said. The woman was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Officers have sent blood samples for testing to determine whether Snape was intoxicated at the time of the fatal collision. She is being held on a $20,000 bond for each charge.