A Riverhead man on Thursday admitted driving drunk and crashing into a home in Flanders back in December, killing his passenger, Suffolk prosecutors said.

Santiago Monzon-Archila, 40, pleaded guilty before Judge Richard I. Horowitz to second-degree manslaughter, second-degree vehicular manslaughter and driving while intoxicated in the death of Edis Noe Hernandez-Nunez, prosecutors said in a news release.

“This tragedy could have been avoided if the defendant didn’t drive drunk, period,” Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney said in a statement. “Instead, he chose to endanger Suffolk County residents through his reckless conduct and in the process caused the death of his passenger.”

On Dec. 17, Hernandez-Nunez, 36, of Riverhead, was ejected from the vehicle after Monzon-Archila drove on Flanders Road, lost control and crashed through an iron fence, into a parked truck, and through a wood fence, according to court documents and statements from Monzon-Archila. The car went airborne and into a house on Flanders Road, which was occupied by three adults and one child, but no one was hurt, Southampton police said at the time of the crash.

Hernandez-Nunez was taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, prosecutors said. Monzon-Archila was also hospitalized, prosecutors said.

Monzon-Archila, who drove a 2007 Toyota sedan, Southampton police said at the time, told police he and Hernandez-Nunez were drinking “beer since 7 p.m. the night before,” prosecutors said. Beer cans were found at the crash site, prosecutors said.

 At the time of the crash, law enforcement officials found that he had a blood alcohol content .13%, well  above the the legal threshold of .08%, prosecutors said.

Monzon-Archila faces 5 to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced on July 22, prosecutors said.


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