Drunk driver sentenced for striking a Whitestone senior in a hit-and-run last Thanksgiving Day

File photo/QNS

A man who was intoxicated while driving and struck a senior in Whitestone on Thanksgiving Day of 2017 was sentenced to prison on Nov. 19, prosecutors announced.

The defendant, Carmine Minichino, 53, of 46th Avenue in Corona, pleaded guilty in June to second-degree assault, leaving the scene of an incident without reporting serious physical injury, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and failing to stop for a stop sign, Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said.

Queens Supreme Court Justice Suzanne Melendez sentenced Minichino on Monday to 2 1/2 years in prison, followed by two years’ post release supervision, Brown said. He was also ordered to pay a fine of $1,400.

According to Brown, Minichino’s 2009 white Chevy van sped through a stop sign in Whitestone striking the victim, Paul Sim, 71, who was crossing the street at approximately 6:45 p.m. on Nov. 23, 2017. The impact caused Sim to be hurled in the air and landed several feet away.

After striking Sim, the van proceeded to run over him and Minichino fled the scene abandoning his van a short distance away, Brown said.

Sim was taken to a local hospital with a compound fracture to his right leg and bleeding on the brain, which required him to undergo multiple surgeries, Brown said.

According to Brown, when Minichino later returned with keys in hand to retrieve the vehicle, he had a moderate odor of alcohol on his breath and bloodshot watery eyes. When police requested to see his license, he was unable to produce a valid driver’s license.

Additionally, Minichino was given an intoxilyzer exam at the 112th Precinct; the results indicated that he had a blood alcohol level of .152 percent — which is nearly twice the legal limit of 0.8 in New York City, Brown said.

“Driving isn’t just a privilege, it’s a responsibility and those who get behind the wheel of a car are entrusted to obey posted traffic signs and to be sober at all times,” said Brown. “The defendant will not be incarcerated as a result of his actions.”


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