A West Hempstead man arrested on drunken driving charges after a traffic fatality last month has been indicted on upgraded charges, including vehicular homicide, court records and officials said Wednesday.
Roy Gomez, 39, was initially charged with DWI after a hit-and-run crash with another vehicle March 13 in Baldwin, authorities said.
But prosecutors and records said Gomez was indicted by a grand jury on April 9 on more than a dozen charges, including aggravated vehicular homicide, a felony.
He was arraigned Wednesday in County Court in Mineola before Judge Meryl J. Berkowitz, who ordered Gomez held on $250,000 bond or $100,000 cash.
He faces from 8 1⁄3 years to 25 years in prison if convicted on the top count. He is due back in court May 1.
He is being represented by the Legal Aid Society.
“This alleged hit-and-run driver killed an innocent 21-year-old and injured his parents when he rear-ended their car while driving drunk and high, then allegedly hid from police while the family was left in the street,” Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a news release. “The allegations in this case underscore the need for stronger penalties for hit and run drivers in New York.”
Gomez was driving a 2004 Chevrolet TrailBlazer on Grand Avenue when he rear-ended a Nissan sedan stopped at a traffic light at Milburn Avenue about 10:14 p.m., police said at the time.
Two passengers in the Nissan were injured and a third, Jovanni Bien-Aime, 21, of Baldwin, died the next day of his injuries.
Gomez drove away from the crash scene, then left his vehicle a few blocks away and ran away, police said. He was found sleeping in a boat on Woodcleft Avenue about six hours later, police said.
He faces felony charges of second-degree manslaughter, first-degree vehicular manslaughter, second-degree vehicular manslaughter, second-degree assault, tampering with physical evidence and leaving the scene of an incident without reporting with death, records show.
He also faces third-degree assault, second-degree reckless endangerment, seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, aggravated driving while intoxicated, driving while ability impaired by the combined influence of drugs or of alcohol, reckless driving and operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs — all misdemeanors.