Sept. 13, 2021 By Michael Dorgan
An alleged hit-and-run driver who plowed into a dirt bike rider and man on a moped on the Long Island Expressway while drunk early Saturday – killing one of them and injuring another – has been charged with vehicular manslaughter and leaving the scene of an incident.
Jorge Serrano, 30, allegedly got behind the wheel of a silver 2012 Chevrolet Cruze while intoxicated and smashed into the vehicles while traveling westbound on the LIE near the Woodhaven Boulevard exit in Elmhurst, according to the Queens District Attorney’s office.
Serrano’s vehicle struck the 19-year-old dirt bike rider and dragged him around 100 yards along the highway—killing him. He also struck a moped rider, breaking the 23-year-old victim’s leg.
The alleged drunk, who is from Connecticut, then fled the scene in his Chevrolet. When cops apprehended him, his blood alcohol content was determined via a breathalyzer to be nearly twice the legal limit. The breathalyzer was administered more than 2 hours after the crash.
Authorities slapped Serrano with a slew of charges, including criminally negligent homicide, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and driving without a valid license. He faces up to seven years in prison if convicted of all charges.
“This is another senseless tragedy on a Queens highway caused by selfish choices,” said Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz in a statement. “As alleged, the defendant ignored the rules of the road with fatal results. From the moment he got behind the wheel… he was a danger to anyone near him.”
Police responded to the scene at around 3:15 a.m. and found the two victims lying on the roadway with trauma to their bodies. They were both transported to Long Island Jewish Forest Hills Hospital by EMS where the 19-year-old man – who was unresponsive and was bleeding from his mouth – was pronounced dead, cops said.
The 23-year-old was conscious and was treated for his broken left leg.
Cops arrested Serrano shortly after the deadly collision at the intersection of Maspeth Avenue and 61st Street, about two miles away from the incident. His car was parked on the curb and partly in the middle of the crosswalk, Katz said.
Police said that when they approached him he was in an intoxicated state with bloodshot, watery eyes. His speech was slurred and there was a strong smell of alcohol from his breath, according to the Queens District Attorney’s office.
He was arraigned Sunday night before Queens Criminal Court Judge Jeffrey Gershuny and was ordered to return to court on Sept. 16.