Photo Courtesy Lindsay Benjamin | Left to right-Lindsay Benjamin, her sister Jennifer, and their Mom, Karen Benjamin
Lindsay Benjamin never imagined her life taking the turn that it took on Sunday morning, June 23rd.
Her Mom, Karen Benjamin, an avid runner, went out for her usual, daily run. Lindsay can remember her Mom running twice each day when she was younger. Karen Benjamin enjoyed life, loved her daughters, and Karen Benjamin loved to run.
Karen Benjamin grew up in Forest Hills, Queens. She and her husband lived in Manhattan, and when Lindsay and her older sister Jennifer were babies, they moved to Long Island. Lindsay attended Ward Melville High School.
Karen Benjamin did not return from her run on Sunday morning, June 23rd.
She was struck by a car, alleged to have been driven by 31 year-old convicted felon Thomas Costa, from Mount Sinai. According to a statement released by the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office, Karen’s DNA was culled from blood splatter left on the BMW that was parked in the rear yard of his parents home in Mount Sinai. The car had been parked up against a fence.
Thomas Costa was on parole for drug possession and burglary charges at the time the BMW he is alleged to have been driving on Sunday morning, June 23rd struck Karen Benjamin, hurling her small-frame some 15 feet, and onto the front lawn of a residence.
Karen Benjamin’s broken body suffered multiple injuries and fractures and internal injuries, as well as severe head trauma. She remained in a coma until July 17th.
Karen Benjamin, mother of Lindsay and Jennifer Benjamin, died on July 17th, as a result of the severe injuries she received, after being hit by the BMW alleged to have been driven by convicted, paroled felon Thomas Costa, whose BMW containing Karen Benjamin’s DNA was found in the backyard of his parents home.
According to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office, Thomas Costa arrived at his parents Mount Sinai home just minutes after the accident, parking the BMW in the rear yard, up against a fence, and told his parents that the BMW had been vandalized at a nightclub in Patchogue.
Thomas Costa pled not-guilty to the two charges related to the hit-and-run accident that killed Karen Benjamin on Sunday morning, June 23rd; Leaving the Scene of an Incident Without Reporting, as a “D” felony, and speeding.
The absence of additional charges has left Lindsay Benjamin, whose Mom Karen Benjamin was abandoned, lying on the front lawn of a residence, after being struck by a BMW, that continued on after striking her and was then parked in the rear yard of the parents of Thomas Costa, with many questions.
Lindsay Benjamin, the youngest daughter of Karen Benjamin, is 25 years-old. She is not a law expert. She was raised to always do the right thing, and to be accountable for her actions.
Lindsay lives in Manhattan. She was a bridesmaid in a wedding that day, and took a cab from Manhattan that evening, in her bridesmaid dress, to Stony Brook University Hospital. Her Mom, Karen Benjamin had been listed as a Jane Doe until Jennifer reached out to SCPD who then sent a detective to the home to tell the family.
Lindsay told us this morning that if it were her who had committed such a heinous, inhumane act, her mother, Karen Benjamin would have told her she has one option and that would be to turn herself in, and take responsibility for her actions. That would have been an immediate consequence. There would have been no delay.
Karen Benjamin was a responsible parent who loved her daughters more than she loved life itself. She was a loving mother to two beautiful young daughters, who believed in accountability, regardless of the cost.
Lindsay Benjamin is wrestling with the fact that further charges will not be brought against Thomas Costa, who is alleged to have driven the BMW which ended up with Karen Benjamin’s DNA splattered onto it.
Lindsay Benjamin has started a petition at Change.org to change the laws that impact those who commit hit-and-run crimes. Lindsay Benjamin wants to keep Thomas Costa in jail for a lot longer than the two –to- seven year sentence he is facing. Lindsay Benjamin also wants families of victims of future hit-and-run accidents not to have to feel the way she does, after losing her Mom, Karen Benjamin, allegedly, to convicted felon on parole, Thomas Costa.
Lindsay Benjamin is also asking questions about who knew about the accident, and when did they know? Social media sites contained posts and flyers about Karen Benjamin, seeking the “person” who ran her down, and left her to die on the side of Canal Road, in Mount Sinai, on Sunday morning, June 23rd.
Is it possible in this day and age of social media that no one with knowledge of this damaged BMW, parked in a rear yard, minutes after Karen Benjamin was run down, was able to connect the dots?
Lindsay Benjamin plans on using social media to bring attention to her petition, seen HERE
, to change laws.
After speaking with Lindsay Benjamin this morning, a few things are clear.
Lindsay Benjamin misses her Mom, Karen Benjamin. Lindsay Benjamin is wise, beyond her 25 years. Lindsay Benjamin has a huge heart, and that’s clearly evident in listening to her detail her plans to prevent future victim’s from not seeing the justice they deserve, as a result of laws on the books, which restrict District Attorney’s.
Lindsay Benjamin wants to ask why people don't like to talk about people who commit heinous crimes. She wants to encourage discussion about why people run down other human beings, leave them to die, and then either turn themselves in the next day, or wait to get caught. She is hoping that discussion will lead to changing laws.
Lindsay Benjamin would like you to support her efforts, and sign her petition.
Lindsay Benjamin’s huge heart is broken.
Link to petition