Charles Koukalenios pleads not guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide, manslaughter in fatal crash, authorities say

Charles Koukalenios, 29, of East Islip, was arraigned Charles Koukalenios, 29, of East Islip, was arraigned Friday, May 16, 2014 on an indictment charging him with aggravated vehicular homicide and several other felonies, authorities said. Photo Credit: SCDA

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An East Islip man who had been hospitalized after a Sunday crash was arraigned Friday on an indictment charging him with aggravated vehicular homicide and several other felonies in connection with the death of the other driver, authorities said.

Charles Koukalenios, 29, pleaded not guilty on the indictment, which also includes second-degree manslaughter, two counts of second-degree vehicular manslaughter, aggravated driving while intoxicated, driving while intoxicated and reckless driving. He was held pending a bail of $25,000 cash or $75,000 bond.

Koukalenios was trying to pass a motorist on Carleton Avenue in Central Islip by crossing into the lane of oncoming traffic, killing a southbound motorist, Mary Rogalle, 84, of Central Islip, police said.

He "revved" his engine to pass a slower car but as he tried to turn back into his lane, he struck the concrete center median and Rogalle, said Bob Clifford, spokesman for the Suffolk District Attorney's office.

Koukalenios, 29, of 129 Washington St., was taken to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore.

He told police "I had two Budweisers," Clifford said, but an hour after the accident at the hospital, his blood-alcohol level was .23, Clifford said. The legal limit is .08.

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His attorney, Ira Weissman of Central Islip, said Koukalenios is a "real quality person" who has worked years as a car mechanic for his father.

"He's absolutely devastated about what's happened," Weissman said. "I sat with him in the hospital . . . He was crying because somebody died."

The attorney said he will investigate the police version of events and challenged whether Koukalenios was driving the wrong way.

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