A Brooklyn man was arraigned Monday, June 14, and charged with manslaughter in the fatal crash that took the life of a Lyft driver in Maspeth early Sunday morning, June 13.
Erik Chimborazo, 22, was allegedly drunk while running a red light and smashing into a car driven by Hossain Mohammed, 47, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.
Chimborazo, of Suydam Street, was arraigned before Queens Criminal Court Judge Karen Gopee on a complaint charging him with manslaughter in the second degree, assault in the second degree, vehicular homicide in the second degree, criminally negligent homicide, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and various other charges.
According to Katz, Chimborazo was driving a Black Ford Sport SUV at a high rate of speed eastbound on Eliot Avenue between 3:45 and 4:15 a.m. He allegedly ran a steady red light and collided into a Toyota Rav4 driven by Mohammed, who was traveling south on Fresh Pond Road and had the green light.
The victim was transported to Elmhurst Hospital where he was later pronounced dead as a result of his injuries. A passenger, seated in the rear of Mohammed’s vehicle, was removed and taken to Elmhurst Hospital, where he underwent treatment for a broken femur as a result of the collision.
According to the charges, Chimborazo was also taken to Elmhurst Hospital, where a portable breath test was administered which indicated that the defendants’ blood alcohol contact was .16, which is above the legal limit of .08 in New York City.
A search of the motor vehicles database indicated that Chimborazo does not possess a New York state driver’s license and that the plate number on the Ford SUV does not have a valid registration. The plate number does not belong to the SUV and has a vehicle identification number (VIN) that does not match his vehicle, according to investigators.
“The rules of the road exist to save lies. As alleged, the defendant ignored them and made selfish, illegal decisions from the moment he got behind the wheel of the car with tragic results,” Katz said. “The defendant allegedly drove without a license and without registration, at an unlawfully high speed and twice the legal blood alcohol limit, through a red light. Now, a hardworking family man is dead, his widow, children and community are in mourning and the defendant faces justice in the courts.”
Judge Gopee ordered Chimborazo to return to court on June 17. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison.