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Driver Charged with Manslaughter

The driver in a two-car crash that caused the death of another driver has been arraigned on manslaughter charges. This occurred after a six-count Suffolk grand jury indictment which claimed the driver was under the influence of intoxicating substances, according to official sources.

The 53-year-old driver pleaded not guilty in Suffolk County Court, Riverhead, and was held on $500,000 bond or $250,000 in cash, by order of the presiding judge.

The driver, operating a 2002 Lincoln Navigator, swerved over the yellow divider line on Montauk Highway, near Old South Country Road in Brookhaven, on December 17, 2010.
The Navigator struck a van driving by a 43-year-old man heading home from work, police said. The 43-year-old man was announced dead on the scene, survived by three children and his wife.
A spokesman for the Suffolk District Attorney indicated that blood-alcohol tests showed the driver had a blood alcohol level of .11. According to the spokesman, greater than .08 is legally intoxicated. Police stated that had the man survived the defendant would have been charged with vehicular assualt.

The driver’s attorney is still investigating the entire case, unsure if manslaughter is the appropriate charge.

“We’re early in the process of investigation,” he said. “Certainly it’s a tragedy. He’s incarcerated and this gentleman lost his life.”

The driver has already pleaded guilty over the last 22 years misdemeanors involving controlled substances, among other charges.

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