Driver Charged In Fatal Sunnyside Crash
A Long Island City man has been arrested and charged with vehicular manslaughter for fatally striking a Sunnyside biker on Wednesday, July 18 while allegedly intoxicated, police stated.
Alex Batista, 25, of Van Dam Street was cuffed after his 2006 Infiniti was found to have crashed into a nearby auto body shop later that night.
According to the Queens District Attorney’s Office, Batista was arraigned on Friday, July 20 before Queens Criminal Court Judge Michael Yavinsky on a criminal complaint charging him with second-degree manslaughter, second-degree vehicular manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and unlawful possession of marijuana. If convicted, Batista faces up to 15 years in prison.
He was also charged in a separate criminal complaint with one count of disorderly conduct.
According to NYPD sources, at about 10:50 p.m. last Wednesday, officers responded to a 911 call of a cyclist struck on Greenpoint Avenue and 39th Place.
Upon arrival, police determined that a car traveling eastbound on Greenpoint Avenue hit the rear of 37- year-old Roger Hernandez’s bike, causing him to mount the hood of Batista’s car, hit the windshield and be thrown into the roadway. Hernandez, of Greenpoint Avenue in Sunnyside, was pronounced dead at the scene.
At about 11 p.m. that night, Batista was reportedly found lying in the street near his car, which had crashed 10 blocks away into a Laurel Hill Boulevard repair shop. When officers approached Batista, they found that he appeared to be visibly intoxicated, belligerent and uncooperative with police.
Police also allegedly recovered two bags of marijuana from Batista.
The NYPD Highway Patrol Accident Squad found that the same car was responsible for striking the cyclist.
“This defendant’s decision to get behind the wheel of a car while allegedly intoxicated is incomprehensible and cost an innocent young man his life,” said District Attorney Richard A. Brown. “Drinking and driving is never a good idea-and all too often has deadly consequences.”
Batista was ordered held on $300,000 bail and will return to court on Aug. 9.
Senior Assistant District Attorney Robert S. Ciesla, of the District Attorney’s Homicide Investigations Bureau, is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Peter T. Reese, Bureau Chief, and Peter J. McCormack III and Richard B. Schaeffer, Deputy Bureau Chiefs, and John W. Kosinski, Vehicular Homicide Unit Chief, and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Charles A. Testagrossa and Deputy Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Daniel A. Saunders.