Tuesday, June 10, 2008

DWI suspect: 'My heart goes out' to family of injured boy

LARCHMONT - Mike Mezansky, a former star Mamaroneck High School baseball player accused of driving drunk and hitting a child, said his legal problems took a back seat to the more immediate concerns of the 9-year-old victim.

"My heart goes out to the family," Mezansky said yesterday, when he answered the door to his home just down the street from Friday's crash site. "I'll deal with the legalities of everything, but the main thing is the kid being OK. That's all I can say."

The boy, William Powers, suffered a head injury, broken legs, bruised lungs and other wounds. He is at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla and has been breathing with the help of a ventilator.

Karen Schwartzman, a family spokeswoman, said last night that the boy's condition was essentially unchanged, clarifying earlier comments that he had regained consciousness.

"He has not regained consciousness," she said, explaining that she received further information after communicating with the boy's father.

She added that William flickered his eyes, but that he had not opened them, again clarifying earlier statements.

"He's heavily medicated to control the pain that he has," she said earlier in the day.

Mezansky is due to be arraigned in Village Court on Tuesday.

He is accused of striking the child on Magnolia Avenue at 7:45 a.m. The boy had just seen his sister onto a Bee-Line bus, then crossed in front of it to head home. That's when the white Lexus pulled out from behind the bus and struck the boy, police said.

Police detected alcohol and arrested the teen after performing a series of field sobriety tests. On a judge's order, authorities also gave him a blood test to determine his blood-alcohol content. The results of that test are not yet known, police said yesterday.

The incident has stunned neighbors in this affluent community bordering the Long Island Sound. Many said they know the driver, the victim and their families and are feeling sad for everyone involved.

One Larchmont resident, Carole Sears, president of the Westchester chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, said she had no sympathy for the driver.

"One person who told me who he was said: 'Oh, he's from a really nice family,'" Sears recalled. "That made me even angrier. There shouldn't be one iota of sympathy for the driver. All the sympathy should be for this little boy who's in the hospital and his family. (Mezansky) should be prosecuted to the absolute fullest extent of the law. Whether he lives in Larchmont or wherever, this is a criminal act."

Mezansky, who attends Indiana University, graduated from high school last year. He excelled in sports and academics. He was a productive captain for the Tigers, hitting a team high .438 with four home runs and 38 RBI to earn League 1-A player-of-the-year honors. He played third base and pitched. He was a goalie for the school's soccer team.

The injured boy, who attends the Chatsworth Avenue School with his twin brother, is being treated at the Maria Fareri Children's Hospital at the medical center, where his parents and his four siblings have remained in a prayerful vigil by his bedside.

William's father, Jeff Powers, is a son of the late Frederic B. Powers Jr., who turned a small fastener company founded by his father into the largest concrete fastener manufacturer in the United States, Powers Fasteners Inc. Jeff Powers is president of the company, which moved its headquarters from New Rochelle to Southeast in 2006.

Police refused to release Mezansky's identity, but court papers submitted yesterday revealed his name.

Staff writer Leslie Korngold contributed to this report.

Reach Shawn Cohen at spcohen@lohud.com or 914-694-5046

Original Article-
UPDATED later posts show that - The driver WAS NOT DRUNK!

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