Off-duty NYPD officer who was among 4 killed when drunk driver crashed into nail salon laid to rest

NEW HYDE PARK, N.Y. (AP) — An off-duty New York Police Department officer who was among four killed when a drunk driver plowed into a nail salon on Long Island last month was laid to rest Saturday.

Hundreds gathered for the funeral at a funeral home in New Hyde Park for Emilia Rennhack, including scores of officers from the city police force, Newsday reported.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a former police captain, called the 30-year-old Deer Park resident “the best of our city,” saying she had immigrated from Poland to pursue the American dream and dedicated her life so others could do the same, the newspaper reports.

Her husband, Carl Rennhack remembered her as a “pillar” of the community and lamented that the couple had “so many more plans” for their future.

Rennhack had been on the police force since 2018 and was stationed at a precinct in Queens, where her husband also worked as a detective. She was the only customer killed in the June 28 crash at the Hawaii Nail & Spa in Deer Park.

The other victims were salon co-owner Jiancai Chen, 37, and employees Yan Xu, 41, and Meizi Zhang, 50, all from Queens. Nine others were also injured.

Police said Steven Schwally, 64, had been speeding through the parking lot when he drove his SUV through the front of the salon.

He pleaded not guilty to driving while intoxicated at his arraignment Monday. Bail was set at $1 million cash, $2 million bond or $5 million partially secured bond.

Prosecutors say Schwally told police he drank 18 beers the night before the crash and didn’t stop drinking until about 4 a.m. The Marine Corps veteran, who has been living at local motel at the time of the crash, is due back in court July 12.

Copyright © 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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