QUEENS, N.Y. (WTNH) — A Torrington man is facing manslaughter and DUI charges for allegedly striking a moped and dirt bike on the Long Island Expressway and leaving the scene, killing the dirt bike driver and injuring the moped driver, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.
Police said early Saturday morning, 30-year-old Jorge Serrano of Torrington was driving a Chevrolet Cruze on the westbound side of the LI Expressway when he struck a moped and a dirt bike, also going west. After striking the dirt bike, the District Attorney said the vehicle dragged the bike and its driver about 100 yards on the highway before Serrano left the scene.
Police found the 19-year-old dirt bike operator unresponsive and was transported to the hospital, where he was later pronounced deceased.
Police also found the 23-year-old moped operator, who was conscious at the scene. He was taken to the hospital with a broken leg.
The District Attorney said police found Serrano’s vehicle parked partially in the middle of the crosswalk in the intersection of Maspeth Avenue and 61st Street, about two miles from the collision.
Police found Serrano and administered a breathalyzer test more than two hours after the collision, which showed the blood alcohol content at .15, nearly two times above New York’s legal limit of .08.
A search in the DMV’s database determined that Serrano did not possess a valid drivers’ license.
Serrano was arraigned Saturday evening and was charged with the following:
- vehicular manslaughter in the second degree
- vehicular assault in the first degree,
- leaving the scene of an incident without reporting/death
- criminally negligent homicide
- leaving the scene of an incident without reporting/serious physical injury
- operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol
- driving by unlicensed operator
“This is another senseless tragedy on a Queens highway caused by selfish choices,” District Attorney Katz. “As alleged, the defendant ignored the rules of the road with fatal results. From the moment he got behind the wheel of the vehicle while intoxicated and without a valid license, he was a danger to anyone near him.”
Serrano is set to return to court on Sept. 16 and faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.