The driver of a pick-up truck that collided with a limousine on an eastern Long Island highway has been charged with a single count of driving while intoxicated. The initial DWI charge is only a misdemeanor, but the driver may face additional charges as police and other officials complete their investigation. The driver may also face a charge of attempting to leave the scene of the accident.
Eight young women had rented a limousine to transport them while they visited several wineries on the eastern end of Long Island. The limo was leaving one of the wineries when the driver attempted to make a U-turn on Route 48. A pickup truck hit the limousine broadside, instantly killing four of the women. Two others were seriously injured. The driver was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor DWI. The driver of the pick-up truck remained at the scene for about 15 minutes and then walked away. Police caught up with him about 1,000 feet from the scene and placed him under arrest.
The driver was arraigned in his hospital room and pleaded not guilty to the single misdemeanor count. Prosecutors said however, that they were awaiting additional evidence that could support more serious charges, such as vehicular homicide. Among the evidence that prosecutors need is the result of chemical analyses of the driver’s blood at the time of the accident. The truck driver admitted to police that he had drunk beer prior to the accident, but reports of the accident do not indicate whether the driver submitted to a breathalyzer or other blood test at the time of his arrest. If blood tests show that the driver’s BAC was greater than 0.08 percent, he could face charges of aggravated vehicular assault and homicide.
Anyone who has been charged with a DWI in an accident that involves the injury or death of another person faces the possibility of a large fine, loss of his or her driver’s license, and a possible jail sentence. In such circumstances, the accused may wish to consult an attorney who specializes in defending persons charged with crimes related to drunk driving. Such a consultation can provide a helpful appraisal of the facts of the case and an estimate of the chances of obtaining a favorable plea agreement or outright acquittal.
Source: WPIX-TV, “Man charged in quadruple-fatal DWI accident in Cutchogue could get additional counts,” Mario Diaz, July 20, 2015