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Driver faces charges in NYC hit-and-run incident

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In a concerning turn of events, Imani Lucas, a 29-year-old motorist, has been arraigned on multiple charges related to a hit-and-run incident in Midtown Manhattan, where seven pedestrians were struck, including an Italian tennis coach.

Amid the legal proceedings, Lucas’ mother has offered insights suggesting that her daughter might have been grappling with a manic episode at the time of the incident.

According to reports, Imani Lucas now faces a series of severe charges, including seven counts each of attempted murder, assault, reckless endangerment, leaving the scene of an accident, and reckless driving.

The collision occurred at the intersection of West 36th Street and Sixth Avenue on Sunday night, resulting in significant injuries to pedestrians, including the Italian tennis coach identified as Giulia Gardani.

Lucas’ mental state during the incident has become a focal point of the investigation, as her mother, Melissa Lucas, has asserted that her daughter suffers from bipolar disorder.

According to Mrs. Lucas, Imani exhibited signs of a possible manic episode, including auditory hallucinations. The sequence of events leading up to the crash reveals a distressing picture. Imani had been in contact with her mother while driving, expressing confusion about her whereabouts and a sense of aimless driving.

Lucas recalls the unsettling call, during which Imani’s disoriented state became apparent, eventually leading her into a second collision in Queens.

Imani Lucas, who had been residing with her parents in New Jersey but was employed in the city, was known to be on medication and striving towards greater independence.

Her mother expressed bewilderment over the sudden escalation of her condition, leaving her uncertain about the triggers for the episode.

The incident unfolded when Lucas allegedly drove through a red light at the intersection, striking pedestrians within the crosswalk before continuing on her route through the Queens-Midtown Tunnel. While some pedestrians sustained non-life-threatening injuries, including a woman who suffered a spinal cord injury, Giulia Gardani, the 34-year-old Italian tennis coach, was seriously affected.

Lucas’ condition deteriorated further as she went on to collide with two vehicles on the Long Island Expressway, leading to her car’s immobilization. Police promptly identified her through her license plate, correlating it with the Midtown crash. Notably, alcohol was ruled out as a contributing factor to the incident.

The unfolding investigation aims “to shed light on the circumstances that led to this tragic incident, as well as to determine the extent of Lucas’ mental state and its impact on her actions.”

In the meantime, the affected pedestrians, including Giulia Gardani, are on the path to recovery, while Lucas remains in custody for further evaluation and legal proceedings.

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