Woman charged with DUI in Rt. 25 accident that sent vehicle into icy reservoir

Car crash icy water

The SUV in the water after the Jan. 4 accident, which now has led to a drunk driving charge against a Monroe woman. (Photo by Maurene Rose/Monroe Fire Department)


A Monroe woman has been charged with second-degree assault with a motor vehicle and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs for her alleged role in a Jan. 4 accident on Route 25 in Monroe that sent her SUV plunging into an icy body of water.

Bond was $20,000 for Sarah Luckart, 42, of 173 Cottage St. Luckart also was charged with failure to maintain the proper lane.

Second-degree assault with a motor vehicle involves causing serious injury to a person while being impaired.


Nighttime accident

The accident occurred just after 11 p.m. on the section of Main Street with Aquarion land and waterways on both sides, near Knollwood Drive. Luckart was driving a white GMC Acadia that collided with a sedan.

Luckart’s SUV went into the water, while the other vehicle ended up about a block away on the other side of the road with that driver pinned against the wheel, according to public safety officials at the time.

Both Luckart and the other driver had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance. Route 25 was completely closed to traffic for several hours.


Woman clinging to SUV in the water

According to reports at the time, multiple other motorists called 9-1-1 to report that a car had gone into the water, with victims in the water.

Car crash icy water

Another view of the accident scene and rescue. (Photo by Maurene Rose/Monroe Fire Department)

First responders found a chaotic scene, with a SUV in the water with a woman clinging to it, and a second vehicle, a sedan, off the road and about 10 feet from a water body on the other side of the road.

There were reports of a possible second victim being submerged in the water, prompting a massive response of volunteer firefighters from the Stepney, Monroe and Stevenson fire departments along with Monroe police officers and Emergency Medical Service personnel.


Two rescue operations

“We essentially had two separate rescue scenes to handle,” said Stepney Fire Chief Mike Klemish.

One crew of firefighters, EMS and police officers worked to extricate the driver of the sedan, removing the doors and roof, and spreading apart the dashboard to free her.

Car crash icy water

The other vehicle after the accident. (Photo by Maurene Rose/Monroe Fire Department)

Meanwhile, a second crew of firefighters, EMS and police worked to rescue the driver of the SUV from the water and searched the water for other victims. Seven volunteer firefighters donned ice-water rescue suits to search the water, while others on land used thermal imaging cameras to check for potential victims.

After about 40 minutes of searching, it was determined that there were no others in the water.

“All the first responders worked well together and did an outstanding job, getting both patients loaded into ambulances in a short amount of time,” Klemish said at the time.


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