Source AP ©

Scottish woman struck by drunken driver in New York

A drunken killed a Scottish woman in a hit-and run incident in downtown New York.

Julia M. Thomson, 24, was struck by a speeding Mercedes-Benz as she crossed a street near her apartment in Manhattan's Lower East Side around 4 a.m. Sunday, police and witnesses said.

The driver, college student Tenzing Bhutia, was arraigned Monday in Manhattan Criminal Court. Bhutia, 21, was charged with second-degree vehicular manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident involving a death, and operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.

Bhutia's blood alcohol level was 0.087 percent, a fraction over the 0.08 percent upper limit, according to the complaint.

The complaint said Bhutia told police that he knew that he hit something and did not stop.

Thomson was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at St. Vincent's Hospital in Manhattan.

A witness said that a black Mercedes side mirror was next to Thomson as she lay on the street bleeding.

Police later found a damaged black Mercedes in the city's Queens borough. The car, registered to Bhutia's father, was missing a passenger side mirror, had a smashed passenger side windshield and a dented front fender, the complaint said.

Thomson, a native of Edinburgh, had dual UK and U.S. citizenship. She graduated from University of Newcastle in 2005, where she majored in political science, and had a marketing job in New York, according to her page at MySpace.com.

Bhutia's lawyer, Edward Palermo, told the judge his client was born in India, came to this country when he was 7 years old, and is now a U.S. citizen. Bhutia's sister, Kessang Bhutia, 24, said their family is of Tibetan extraction.

The defendant's father, Temdy Bhutia, told police his son had driven the car early Sunday, the complaint said.

Judge Tanya Kennedy set Bhutia's bail at $75,000 (52,698 EUR)- $25,000 (17,566 EUR) more than Assistant District Attorney Dafna Yoran had asked for, and ordered Bhutia to surrender his passport.

Palermo said he expected his client, who entered no plea during the arraignment, to post bail.

Bhutia is a senior at Baruch College, where he is majoring in finance, and is an information technology employee at a New York City company, according to his lawyer, Palermo said.

His next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 5.

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