Astoria man indicted in fatal hit-and-run that killed 5-year-old boy in East Elmhurst: DA

hit-and-run indictment Astoria man
Five-year-old Jonathan Martinez was pronounced dead shortly after a tragic hit-and-run. (Photo via GoFundMe)

An Astoria man was indicted by a Queens grand jury for the fatal hit-and-run that killed a 5-year-old boy in East Elmhurst last month.

Xavier Carchipulla, 40, of 33rd Street, was arraigned Thursday before Queens Supreme Court Justice Toni Cimino on a seven-count indictment charging him with criminally negligent homicide, aggravated unlicensed driving of a motor vehicle and leaving the scene of an incident without reporting/death and other crimes, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

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, according to the charges. After striking Martinez, Carchipulla did not stop and fled the scene.

EMS responded to the scene and rushed the youngster to Elmhurst Hospital Center, where he was treated for severe head trauma and injuries to his torso and was later pronounced dead as a result of his injuries.

Carchipulla was arrested on Wednesday, Sept. 21.

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.

“The defendant’s alleged criminal negligence while behind the wheel has brought absolute devastation to a family that continues to mourn their young child,” Katz said. “Driving is a privilege; it is not a right. To drive without a license is to place your own wishes over the needs of other people’s safety, leading to heartbreaking results. My office will hold accountable those who choose to disregard the rules of the road and license requirements. Our thoughts continue to go out to the family of this victim as the defendant faces justice in our courts.”

Justice Cimino ordered Carchipulla to return to court on Nov. 16. If convicted, Carchipulla faces up to seven years in prison.