Flushing motorist arraigned in fatal Jackson Heights crash that killed motorcyclist: DA

Jackson Heights
A Flushing man faces drunk driving and vehicular manslaughter charges following a fatal collision in Jackson Heights on Nov. 26. (File photo by Dean Moses)

A Flushing man was officially charged for allegedly driving drunk when he was involved in a fatal collision that took the life of a motorcycle rider in Jackson Heights early Saturday morning, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

Jairo Ortiz, 24, of 26th Avenue, was arraigned Nov. 27 before Queens Criminal Court Judge Anthony Battisti on a complaint charging him with vehicular manslaughter, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and driving without a license.

According to the charges, at around 1:15 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 26, Ortiz was driving a black 2011 BMW southbound on 82nd Street when an unidentified man on a 2021 Zhilong Fly Wing motorcycle crashed into the rear of the BMW near the intersection of 82nd Street and 37th Avenue. EMS responded to the crash scene and rushed the motorcycle rider to Elmhurst Hospital Center with traumatic head injuries and he died shortly thereafter.

According to the complaint, an alcohol test administered by police from the 115th Precinct in Jackson Heights at the scene of the collision showed the defendant’s blood alcohol content was above the legal limit. Ortiz was unable to produce a valid driver’s license or proof of insurance and registration for the vehicle, which had a Pennsylvania license plate that did not match the BMW’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).

“As alleged, the defendant was driving a car while under the influence of alcohol,” Katz said. “In addition, neither the defendant nor his vehicle was authorized to be on the road. Laws meant to protect us were willfully broken. The consequence of that decision is a senseless loss of life.”

Judge Battisti ordered Ortiz to return to court on Jan. 25. If convicted, Ortiz faces up to seven years in prison.