A Manorville man accused of drunken driving was arraigned Tuesday on a seven-count indictment charging him with vehicular manslaughter and other crimes in a February crash that killed his passenger, prosecutors said.
William Christie, 69, pleaded not guilty to the charges, including first-degree vehicular manslaughter, two counts of second-degree vehicular manslaughter, second-degree manslaughter, aggravated driving while intoxicated and two counts of driving while intoxicated.
Suffolk police had said he was drunk Feb. 26 when he lost control of his Jeep on Sunrise Highway in Manorville and it overturned, killing passenger Michael Demartino, 59, of Manorville. Demartino was pronounced dead at the scene just before 3:30 a.m., police said.
Christie was exiting the highway at Exit 59, which is Wading River Road, when he lost control, eventually crashing into trees, the Suffolk County district attorney's office.
Christie was released on $150,000 cash bail. It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney.