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Following fatal New York crash, driver pleads not guilty to DWI

A Staten Island man has pleaded not guilty to vehicular manslaughter and DUI stemming from a Jan. 26 accident that left one man dead, according to reports. The accident reportedly occurred just before 7 p.m. on Capodanno Boulevard near on the Arrochar-South Beach border when the victim, a 67-year-old man, and his family were walking in a bike lane. Sources indicate that the sidewalks were icy, so the family chose to walk on the road's shoulder.

The investigation report apparently said that the driver, a 39-year-old resident of Ocean Breeze, lost control of his Lexus on the Capodano Boulevard curve near Lily Pond Avenue. He allegedly struck a parked van and then the victim. The driver is accused of having a blood alcohol content of .139 and driving at high speeds, and he now faces several charges, including felony assault, second-degree manslaughter and misdemeanor counts of criminal mischief and driving while intoxicated.

It was not clear if the reported BAC number was gathered from a blood test or via a Breathalyzer. An attorney representing the Ocean Breeze man said that the accident was not caused by intoxication but by the dangerous conditions of the icy road along with limited visibility around the curve. The driver was released on a $50,000 bond, and his next appearance in court is scheduled for March 7.

Potential consequences for driving while intoxicated in New York can be severe, and reports indicate that the man could face penalties of up to 15 years in prison if convicted. However, his attorney may argue for a lesser sentence due to the conditions of the road and the fact that the victim was not walking on the sidewalk.

Source: SILive.com, "Staten Island man indicted for manslaughter, DWI, in death of man walking to his car", Frank Donnelly, February 14, 2014

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