AREA NEWSThe Northern Westchester Examiner

Driver Charged in Death of Popular Yorktown Man

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The driver who killed a popular Yorktown man who was walking his dog not far from his home on Farmwalk Road in November was charged Friday with criminally negligent homicide.

Brett Nelson, 18, of Gomer Street in Yorktown was indicted by a Grand Jury following a lengthy investigation by Yorktown Police and Westchester County Police. After being arrested by Yorktown Police, Nelson was arraigned in White Plains and released on $25,000 bail. He is due back in court May 28.

According to indictment, Nelson was operating a 2002 Chevrolet Cavalier at about 8 p.m. November 8 when he crossed over the left side of the roadway and struck Randy Zapakin, 57. After striking Zapakin, Nelson’s vehicle drove off the road and traveled approximately 100 feet before hitting a tree. Zapakin was pronounced dead at the scene.

One of the first officers on the scene smelled an odor of marijuana coming from Nelson’s vehicle. Marijuana was subsequently located inside and outside of the car and a marijuana pipe was found on the ground in the area of the initial collision. Nelson consented to a chemical test of his urine and blood. Both were determined by the Westchester County Department of Labs and Research to be positive for THC, the principal ingredient of marijuana.

Besides the felony charge of criminally negligent homicide, Nelson was charged with one count of reckless driving, one count of unlawful possession of marijuana and two traffic violations. If convicted of the felony charge, Nelson could face a maximum sentence of four years in state prison.

Zapakin was a successful sales associate with Keller Williams Realty Partners in Yorktown since 2008 and was involved with many community events, including serving as emcee of the Relay for Life cancer fundraiser in Yorktown. He was also a former basketball coach in the Yorktown Athletic Club and performed in several productions with the Yorktown Community Players.

His wife, Debbie, is co-owner of Wishes Boutique in Yorktown.


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