CONNECTICUT RESIDENT CHARGED WITH VEHICULAR MANSLAUGHTER AND DRUNK DRIVING IN DEATH OF DIRT BIKE RIDER ON LONG ISLAND EXPRESSWAY
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that Jorge Serrano, 30, has been charged with vehicular manslaughter and drunk driving for allegedly striking a dirt bike on the Long Island Expressway and killing its rider. Serrano also allegedly struck a moped, the rider of which has been hospitalized with a broken leg.
District Attorney Katz said, “This is another senseless tragedy on a Queens highway caused by selfish choices. 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, of Torrington, Connecticut, was arraigned late last night before Queens Criminal Court Judge Jeffrey Gershuny on a 8-count complaint charging him with 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 and driving by unlicensed operator. Judge Gershuny set the defendant’s return date for September 16, 2021. If convicted, Serrano faces up to seven years in prison.
According to the charges, in the early morning hours of September 11, 2021, Serrano was driving a silver 2012 Chevrolet Cruze westbound on the Long Island Expressway when he struck a moped and a dirt bike also heading westbound. After striking the dirt bike, the defendant’s vehicle dragged the bike and its rider approximately 100 yards on the highway. Serrano then fled the scene.
Police officers responding to the scene observed the rider of the dirt bike, a 19-year-old male, unresponsive and bleeding from his mouth. He was immediately transported to a Queens hospital, where he was later pronounced deceased.
Additionally, police officers observed the second victim, a 23-year-old male who was the operator of the moped, conscious at the scene. He was also taken to a Queens hospital and is being treated for a broken left leg.
Furthermore, DA Katz said, after the incident, police officers observed the defendants’ vehicle, partially parked on the curb and partially in the middle of the crosswalk in the intersection of Maspeth Avenue and 61st Street, approximately 2 miles from the collision. At the time of arrest, the defendant was observed to be in an intoxicated condition with bloodshot, watery eyes, slurred speech and a strong odor of alcohol on the breath. A breathalyzer was administered to the defendant more than 2 hours after the collision and showed the defendants’ blood alcohol content at .15, which is nearly two times above the legal limit of .08.
After a search of the Department of Motor Vehicles’ database, it is additionally charged that the defendant does not possess a valid drivers’ license.
The investigation was conducted by Detective James Conlon of the New York City Police Department’s Collision Investigation Squad under the supervision of Sergeant Robert Denig and Lieutenant Jagdeep Singh.
Assistant District Attorney Joshua Garland, of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Peter McCormack, III, Senior Deputy Chief, John Kosinski, Deputy Chief, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Daniel Saunders.
**Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.