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Retired NYPD cop indicted on upgraded charges in fatal Commack crash

Authorities say Patrick McMahon faces aggravated vehicular assault, driving while intoxicated, and other charges in connection with a January crash that killed a passenger.

A retired NYPD cop was indicted on upgraded homicide and manslaughter charges Thursday, three months after a passenger in his car was killed, police said, when he lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a pillar and tree in front of a Commack home.

Patrick McMahon, 48, of Commack, was arraigned Thursday by Suffolk County Acting Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho on charges of aggravated vehicular homicide, second-degree manslaughter, second-degree vehicular manslaughter, aggravated driving while intoxicated, driving while intoxicated, second-degree reckless endangerment, reckless driving and speeding, said Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini, in a news release.

He was free on bail, which a judge had previously set at $125,000 cash or $250,000 bond, officials said. McMahon is due back in court on June 12, officials said.

“There is no excuse in this day and age to drive drunk, particularly for this defendant as a former member of law enforcement,” Sini said. “He made the reckless, senseless decision to put the lives of his passengers and the lives of other motorists on the road in danger, and that decision proved fatal.”

McMahon's attorney Michael Alber said in a statement Friday that "no one should rush to judgment" and that "words in a press release are an accusation and proof of nothing."  

“An accident does not mean a crime was committed, even when a tragedy happens," Alber said. "There are too many cases to list in which a person has been accused of a blood alcohol concentration that was later established to be based upon faulty forensics or a poor investigation, or that a person was wrongly accused." 

After the crash, which occurred at 1:55 a.m. on Jan. 13, passenger Steven Sarvis, 32, was pronounced dead at St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center in Smithtown, Suffolk police said at the time.

McMahon was originally charged with just driving while intoxicated, police said. Sini said his blood alcohol content was .18 approximately an hour after the crash, more than twice the legal limit of .08.

Authorities said the crash occurred after McMahon drove a 2018 Infiniti Q60 westbound on Dovecote Lane on his way home from Blush Night Club at 53 Veterans Memorial Hwy. McMahon crossed into eastbound traffic, cleared the curb and careened onto the front lawn of a home on Dovecote Lane before striking a brick pillar and a tree, police said. The car overturned and came to rest.

McMahon was treated for injuries at Huntington Hospital, police said, and another passenger went to St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center in Smithtown for treatment of minor injuries.

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