A longtime federal judge who presided over high-profile cases on Long Island was fatally struck by a car that fled the scene in Florida on Friday, a court official says.
U.S. District Court Judge Sandra Feuerstein, 75, who has decided cases in Central Islip federal court for nearly 20 years, died after the crash in Boca Raton, Eugene Corcoran, the district executive of the Eastern District of New York, confirmed for the Press.
“Our Office extends condolences and prayers to the Eastern District of New York Court community and the family of U.S. District Court Judge Sandra J. Feuerstein,” Mark J. Lesko, acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement. “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.”
The driver, 23-year-old Nastasia Andranie Snape, who was allegedly high on drugs at the time, was apprehended shortly later and is being charged with vehicular homicide, hit-and-run involving death, and leaving the scene of an accident with injury, WPTV reported. Law360 first reported the judge’s death. A 6-year-old boy who was also struck reportedly suffered serious injuries.
Former President George W. Bush appointed Feuerstein to the bench in 2003. She previously served as a New York State judge for 16 years.
Numerous high-profile criminal cases and lawsuits came through her courtroom during her time on the federal bench, including Long Islanders convicted of joining al-Qaeda, sex trafficking ring leaders, and a lawsuit over federally protected Piping Plovers on Fire Island.
Born in New York City, Feuerstein graduated in 1979 from Benjamin Cordozo School of Law after nearly a decade as a city school teacher. She was later a law clerk, a Nassau County District Court judge, a state Supreme Court justice, and an associate justice of the state Appellate Division’s Second Judicial Department.
Feuerstein’s mother was Judge Annette Elstein. They are believed to be the first-mother daughter judges in the nation’s history, according to Columbia Law School.