Alleged Drunk Driver Takes Man’s Life
While setting up cones to prepare for routine maintenance, a 63-year-old electrical worker was struck and killed by a sedan operated by an allegedly drunk, unlicensed driver on the Grand Central Parkway near Flushing Meadows-Corona Park on Tuesday morning, July 10, police said.
The victim was identified by law enforcement sources as Frank Avino, 63, of Ronkonkoma, L.I., who worked for Welsbach Electric out of their College Point office.
Authorities said the driver behind the wheel of the car that struck Avino, identified as Munshi Abdullah, 26, of 86th Road in Hillcrest, was charged at the scene by police after exhibiting signs of intoxication.
Reportedly, the accident occurred at 11 a.m. Tuesday morning along the westbound lanes of the Grand Central Parkway near the Jewel Avenue exit.
According to law enforcement sources, Avino was working in the parkway’s left lane to prepare for electrical work when he was hit by an Audi sedan driven by Abdullah at a high rate of speed.
Avino reportedly hit the windshield of the Audi and flew into the air before landing on the top of a nearby construction vehicle.
Members of the 112th Precinct, NYPD Highway Patrol Unit 3 and EMS units responded to the scene. Avino was pronounced dead at the location.
During questioning, according to information provided by the Queens District Attorney’s office. Abdullah was observed by officers exhibiting signs of intoxciation, including bloodshot, watery eyes and a strong odor of alcohol on his breath.
Police administered a breathalyzer test to Abdullah which reportedly found that his blood alcohol level was .21 percent, well above the legal limit of .08 percent. In statements made to police, prosecutors said, Abdullah admitted to drinking and driving his friends earlier that morning.
Following an investigation by the NYPD Accident Investigation Squad, Abdullah-who was at the scene following the accident-was arrested on charges of DWI, vehicular manslaughter and resisting arrest. He was additionally charged with operating a motor vehicle without a license.
The suspect was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on Wednesday, July 11, before Judge Lenora Gerald, who ordered him held on $350,000 bail.
He is scheduled to return to court on July 25.
If convicted of the charges, Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown noted, he faces up to 15 years behind bars.