A Richmond Hill man has been indicted by a grand jury on vehicular manslaughter charges in a deadly crash that killed his passenger, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced Tuesday, June 15.
Harpreet Singh, 20, of 118th Street, was arraigned before Queens Supreme Court Justice Toni Cimino on an 11-count indictment charging him with manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, assault and other crimes for allegedly driving drunk and hitting two other vehicles.
Katz said that around 1 a.m. on April 21, police responded to the scene of two car crashes on Atlantic Avenue in Jamaica. Singh, who is alleged to have been behind the wheel of a 2018 Honda Accord, was going eastbound at a high rate of speed when he failed to stop at a red light and struck a Ford pickup truck at 111th Street.
Singh’s car continued moving and slammed into a second car, a Mercedes Benz GLA250, according to Katz.
When interviewed at the scene, according to the charges, Singh allegedly gave police a fake name and told them that he was in the back seat of the Honda. Singh is accused of leaving the scene moments later to go to the hospital while failing to admit he was the actual driver of the Honda.
A witness told police that Singh was the driver, who allegedly appeared intoxicated immediately following the crashes.
A search warrant to test the blood retrieved from the defendant at the hospital was obtained, which indicated that his blood alcohol content was .17, which is above the legal limit of .08 in New York City.
The DA said police found the victim Suraj Kumar in the front seat of the Honda Accord. The 23-year-old had extensive injuries to both his head and body. He was rushed to a local hospital, where he died from his injuries.
“Tragically, we are once again, and all too often, dealing with a death caused by an alleged DWI driver,” Katz said. “As alleged, this defendant was driving at more than twice the legal blood alcohol limit and had no business behind the wheel of a car. As a result, one man is dead and two others are fortunate to have survived.”
Justice Cimino set Sigh’s return date for July 7. If convicted, the defendant faces up to 15 years in prison.