Press Release


Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that Jairo Ortiz has been charged with vehicular manslaughter, driving while under the influence and other crimes for allegedly hitting an unidentified motorcyclist while driving an unregistered, uninsured vehicle in Elmhurst on Saturday morning.

District Attorney Katz said: “As alleged, the defendant was driving a car while under the influence of alcohol. In addition, neither the defendant nor his vehicle was authorized to be on the road. Laws meant to protect us were willfully broken. The consequence of that decision is a senseless loss of life.”

Ortiz, 24, of 26th Avenue in Flushing, Queens, was arraigned Sunday in Queens Criminal Court on a complaint charging him with vehicular manslaughter in the second degree, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and driving without a license. Judge Anthony Battisti ordered the defendant to return to court on January 25. If convicted, Ortiz faces up to 7 years in prison.

According to the charges, on November 26, at approximately 1:15 a.m., the defendant was driving a black 2011 BMW southbound on 82nd Street and collided with an unidentified victim, who was operating a 2021 Zhilong Fly Wing motorcycle, near the intersection of 82nd Street and 37th Avenue. The victim was transported to a local hospital with traumatic head injuries and died shortly thereafter.

According to the complaint, an alcohol test administered by police responding to the scene of the collision showed the defendant’s blood alcohol content was above the legal limit. The defendant was unable to produce a valid driver’s license or proof of insurance and registration for the vehicle, a BMW with a Pennsylvania license plate not matching the vehicle’s VIN.

The investigation was conducted by Police Officer Emilio Rodriguez of the New York Police Department’s 115th Precinct.

Assistant District Attorney Christine Occhiogrosso of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys John Kosinski and Peter McCormack III, Senior Deputy Bureau Chiefs, and Karen Ross, Deputy Bureau Chief, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for the Major Crimes Division Daniel Saunders.

**Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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