An unlicensed driver from Astoria has been charged with criminally negligent homicide and other crimes after fatally striking a 5-year-old East Elmhurst boy and leaving the scene of the collision earlier this month, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced Thursday, Sept 22.
Xavier Carchipulla, 40, of 33rd Street in Astoria, is currently pending arraignment in Queens Criminal Court on a complaint charging him with leaving the scene of an incident without reporting/death, criminally negligent homicide, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the second degree, failure to exercise due care, driving or parking uninspected motor vehicle, no insurance, registration of motor vehicles; fees; renewals and driving by unlicensed operator, according to the Queens district attorney’s office.
He had been arrested on Wednesday, Sept. 21.
According to the charges, at approximately 5:28 p.m. on Sept. 1, 5-year-old Jonathan Martinez was walking on 100th Street next to his father and siblings. As they attempted to cross 100th Street, Carchipulla, who was driving a white 2018 Dodge Ram Pickup Truck heading northbound on McIntosh Street, made a southbound turn onto 100th Street and struck Martinez, who was still standing next to his father. After striking Martinez, Carchipulla did not stop and fled the scene.
Martinez was immediately transported to NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst, where he was treated for severe head trauma and injuries to his torso and was later pronounced dead.
According to the New York state motor vehicle database, Carchipulla does not possess a valid New York state driver’s license, which was previously suspended, and the RAM does not have valid registration, Katz said. Additionally, the license plate affixed to the vehicle does not properly correspond to the vehicle identification number.
“This is a gut-wrenching case involving a young life cut tragically short because of the defendant’s alleged criminal negligence while behind the wheel. My heart goes out to the young victim’s family and loved ones. The rules of the road, including the requirement of a valid driver’s license before driving, exist to keep motor vehicles from becoming deadly weapons of destruction,” Katz said. “The defendant stands accused of ignoring these rules, with absolutely tragic consequences. He now faces justice in our courts.”
Martinez lived just two blocks away from the crime scene near the Helen Marshall Playground and P.S. 127 Aerospace Science Magnet School.
A GoFundMe organized by a family friend has raised more than $28,000 as of Friday morning, Sept. 23.
“Jonathan was the sweetest and brightest boy,” the GoFundMe read. “He loved singing and dancing and worshiping the lord. He loved all Spider-Man and car toys. His best friends were his brother Joel, Joshua and his sister Joanna. His personality lightened up the whole room and filled all of our hearts. His family, friends and church will forever miss Jonathan. We do not want his parents to worry about funeral cost at any sort.”