UPDATE: Alleged drunk driver in Whitestone hit-and-run was way above the legal limit, DA says

Police on the scene of a hit-and-run incident in Whitestone on Nov. 23.
Photo via Facebook/Robert Stridiron

UPDATED Nov. 28, 9:45 a.m.

The 52-year-old man accused of running down a 71-year-old pedestrian with his van in Whitestone on Thanksgiving night had blood alcohol level nearly twice the legal limit, prosecutors said on Monday.

Carmine Minichino of 46th Avenue in Corona was behind the wheel of a 2009 white Chevrolet van that struck the 71-year-old male victim at the corner of Murray Street and 17th Road at about 7 p.m. on Nov. 23, law enforcement sources said.

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said the impact caused the victim to be thrown several feet into the air. Minichino’s van then ran over the victim as it sped away from the scene. The driver ultimately abandoned his vehicle a short distance away and fled on foot.

Officers from the 109th Precinct and paramedics responded moments later; the injured man was taken to Flushing Hospital in critical condition with a compound fracture to his right leg and bleeding on the brain. Brown said the victim will require extensive surgery to recover.

Sources familiar with the investigation said that Minichino returned to the crime scene to retrieve his van. Police took him into custody and noticed that he exhibited signs of intoxication. During questioning, Minichino was allegedly unable to produce a valid driver’s license.

Officers brought the suspect to the 112th Precinct stationhouse in Forest Hills for a breathalyzer test that indicated his blood alcohol level was .152 percent, nearly double the .08 percent legal limit in New York City.

Minichino was ordered held on $100,000 bond or $50,000 cash following his Nov. 24 arraignment on charges including second-degree assault and vehicular assault, leaving the scene of an accident, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and aggravated unlicensed operator.