Brooklyn man pleads guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide in 2018 Van Wyck pileup: DA

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A Brooklyn man pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide, assault and other crimes for getting behind the wheel of a car and driving after consuming alcohol and smoking marijuana, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

Alex Elicier, 31, of Hart Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant, killed a 38-year-old man, his dogs, and injured four people and caused a seven-car pileup in the August 2018 crash on the Van Wyck Expressway.

The carnage occurred just before 5 a.m. on Aug. 18, 2018, with Elicier driving on the Van Wyck near Jewel Avenue and the southeast corner of Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Elicier was weaving in and out of traffic and crossing multiple lanes while speeding in excess of 80 mph when he slammed his Chevy into the back of an Acura being driven by Jasmine Rodriguez, according to the charges. Inside the car with the 27-year-old woman was her friend Jairo Castano and his two pets.

The force of the crash pushed the Acura into the center guardrail, causing to to go airborne. The vehicle landed upside down in the southbound lanes of the Van Wyck Expressway. A motorist struck the vehicle and Castano, 38, was crushed on impact and pronounced dead at the scene. The two dogs were ejected from the car and died. Rodriguez survived the collision but sustained facial fractures and injuries to her torso and arms, according to the charges.

The DA added that, in total, seven vehicles were hit in the pileup, including a TSA K-9 Unit heading to JFK International Airport. A total of five people, including the defendant, were injured in the crash. Katz said Elicier was treated at an area hospital for head injuries. At that time, a warrant was executed to obtain the defendant’s blood. Forty minutes after the crash, Elicier’s blood-alcohol level was .18. He also tested positive for the presence of THC in his bloodstream.

Surveillance video showed Elicier at a strip club earlier in the evening, drinking Hennessy and smoking marijuana, prior to him getting behind the wheel of the Chevy.

“It is extremely selfish to drink and drive as well as smoke marijuana and drive,” Katz said. “When someone downs a beer or shot or cocktail or smokes a joint and then gets behind the wheel of a car, it endangers the lives of everyone on the road. The defendant has now admitted his guilt and will be sentenced accordingly.”