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Tragic details emerge in NYC crash that killed pregnant woman


A pregnant Staten Island woman had her unborn baby ripped out and hurled 40 feet in a drunken-driving crash, officials said Monday — as her fiance, the driver, learned only minutes before court both had died.

Suspect Adem Nikeziq, 30, wept uncontrollably during his first appearance before a judge, after his lawyer broke the news that his seven-months-pregnant fiancee and unborn daughter were dead.

“No one told him that his fiancee and baby had passed,” Nikeziq’s lawyer, Mark Fonte, told The Post outside court. “He found out minutes ago, just before he came out [into the courtroom]. When I told him, he broke down crying, sobbing. He was at first completely in disbelief.”

Nikeziq, who was brought into court in a wheelchair and wearing a hospital gown, is charged with manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, vehicular assault and drunken driving in the deadly crash.

His fiancee, Adriana Sylmetaj, 23 — whose sister is an NYPD cop — was in the passenger seat when the couple’s speeding SUV struck a barrier and a utility pole early Saturday, with the vehicle splitting in half, prosecutors said in court.

Adem Nikeziq charged in fatal Staten Island crash.
Adem Nikeziq, 30, weeps in court after learning his fiancee and unborn child were killed during his alleged drunken-driving crash.
Dennis A. Clark

“She was found at the intersection,” Assistant District Attorney Nicholas Agostino told Judge Raja Rajeswari. “Her severed leg was found 20 feet past her body. Her unborn child, ripped from her body, was found 20 feet past her leg.”

According to a criminal complaint filed in the case, Nikeziq told cops at the scene that another driver cut him off before the fatal collision.

“Not every horrific accident rises to the level of criminality,” Fonte said.

But prosecutors said Nikeziq was speeding and weaving through traffic on Hylan Boulevard around 4:45 a.m. when he lost control of the white 2021 Dodge Challenger and smashed it into a barrier.

Fatal Staten Island crash.
Adriana Sylmetaj, 23, was seven months pregnant when she was killed in Staten Island on Saturday.
Seth Gottfried

Agostino said the crash came after “a night of drinking” for Nikeziq.

Prosecutors said the case will now be presented to a grand jury.

The judge ordered Nikeziq held on $400,000 cash bail or a $700,000 bond.

Adriana Sylmetaj, 23, victim of Staten Island crash.
Adriana Sylmetaj was expecting a girl, according to an online registry.
Facebook/Adrianaa Sylmetaj

He is due back in Staten Island court Thursday.

The couple’s registry at Buy Buy Baby said they were expecting the birth of a baby girl April 12 and listed several items, including a crib and a Disney mobile.

Sylmetaj’s family said she was one of four children, with a sister who is a cop in Brooklyn’s 62nd Precinct.

The family asked for privacy Monday.

Additional reporting by Larry Celona


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