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Alleged DWI driver charged with vehicular homicide for bus crash

A New York man, who became intoxicated, allegedly stole a truck and then struck a city bus killing the driver, is facing a series of charges in connection with the case. The man is not charged specifically with vehicular assault, but rather with the more general first-degree assault, according to news reports. He is also accused of aggravated vehicular homicide, second-degree vehicular manslaughter and several drunk driving charges in connection with the fatal DWI accident.

The victim in the case, a 49-year-old driver, had been working for the Metropolitan Transportation Agency for 17 years. He apparently went through the windshield and was found beneath the bus. He was declared dead at the scene. Several other victims were also injured, including a motor-scooter driver, a passerby and a bus passenger, along with a coffee vendor.

Authorities say the 22-year-old defendant was intoxicated at the time of the wreck; his blood alcohol content was measured at 0.18 percent. The driver is accused of causing the early morning accident on Feb. 12, when he allegedly stole a commercial vehicle that had been parked at a loading dock on West 16th Street in New York City. The man’s erratic driving allegedly led him to strike a wall beside the loading dock, nearly running over the stolen truck’s driver. He then reportedly hit at least two other vehicles before driving away.

A half-block later, the man struck another car and then allegedly committed several traffic violations, including speeding through red lights. When the man allegedly ran through one red light, he struck a crosstown bus. The fatal DWI accident sent both vehicles slamming into a building adjacent to the intersection.

The driver in this case is facing up to 25 years’ prison time in connection with the vehicular homicide charge alone. With such high stakes, those accused of causing a fatal DWI accident may benefit from the assistance of a New York attorney. These professionals may be able to educate clients about their legal rights and options.

Source: The New York Times, “Driver of Stolen Truck Arraigned in Bus Driver’s Death” James C. McKinley, Feb. 13, 2014