Occasionally, a driver stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol will attempt to flee the scene, especially if a collision is involved. Rarely, however, does the driver flee the scene and attempt to destroy the car that he or she was driving. The recent arrest of a Long Island man on DWI charges revealed an incident that involves all three.
Police arrested the man for an incident that allegedly occurred in December 2014. The defendant had allegedly consumed alcohol and smoked marijuana before leaving a strip club in Queens and driving a borrowed rental car eastward on the Southern State Parkway. He was near the Route 110 exit when he suddenly accelerated across three lanes of traffic, moving from the left lane to the right lane. He crashed into the rear end of another car, causing that car to veer off the parkway and hit a tree. The driver was killed instantly.
Two drivers who were also travelling east on the parkway attempted to render assistance. One stopped to help the man whose car hit the tree, and the other driver followed the driver who caused the collision. Before losing sight of the fleeing car, the driver called 911 and provided police with a description of the car. According to the prosecutor, the fleeing driver and a friend later attempted to destroy the vehicle by burning it. After police found and arrested the man, he was charged with thirteen crimes, ranging from second degree manslaughter to third degree arson.
The driver in this case is facing serious criminal charges, but he is still entitled to a presumption of innocence unless and until he is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Anyone facing such charges can benefit from consulting an experienced criminal defense attorney who specializes in such cases. A knowledgeable lawyer can provide a helpful evaluation of the circumstances of the case and an estimate of potential consequences, including the likelihood of obtaining a favorable plea bargain or outright acquittal.
Source: Patch.com, “DA: Long Island Man Drove Drunk, Killed Man in Hit-and-Run Crash, Burned Evidence,” Paige McAtee, Sep. 23, 2015