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Long IslandCrime

Sean Ludwick, Manhattan real estate developer, arraigned on upgraded charges in fatal crash

Sean Ludwick, 42, at First District court in

Sean Ludwick, 42, at First District court in Central Islip on Monday, Jan. 4, 2016. Ludwick was indicted on charges in connection with a crash that killed his passenger, Paul Hansen, in August in Sag Harbor. Photo Credit: James Carbone

The Manhattan real estate developer who prosecutors said was driving drunk and left the scene of a crash that killed his passenger in Sag Harbor this past summer was arraigned Monday on three counts of aggravated vehicular homicide and other charges.

Blood was drawn from Sean Ludwick four hours after the Aug. 30 crash and subsequent tests showed that his blood alcohol level was 0.18 percent, more than twice the state’s legal limit of 0.08 percent, Suffolk Assistant District Attorney John Scott Prudenti said Monday at Ludwick’s arraignment in Central Islip.

Charges in the indictment were upgraded from the original counts of driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident.

Ludwick, 43, a managing partner and founder of Blackhouse Development, and his passenger, Paul Hansen, 53, a real estate broker from Sag Harbor, had been out drinking before the crash, Prudenti said. He did not say how much the two had to drink.

Ludwick was driving Hansen home when the crash occurred. He was on Rolling Hill Court East about 2 a.m. when his 2013 Porsche struck a utility pole near Hansen’s home, Prudenti said. Instead of calling for help, Prudenti said Ludwick dragged Hansen out of the convertible, left him on the side of the road, and fled.

Ludwick didn’t get too far in the damaged Porsche, which was missing two of its wheels, Prudenti said.

Ludwick, who owns homes in Bridgehampton and Manhattan, remained largely silent Monday during his brief arraignment before state Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho.

His attorney, Benjamin Brafman of Manhattan, entered a plea of not guilty.

Outside of court, Brafman said his client, who is out on bail, intends to address the charges, a 13-count indictment handed up by a Suffolk grand jury.

“This is a very sad case. There is no good answer to the fact that someone is dead,” said Brafman. “There is a difference between a homicide and an accident that results in a person’s death.”

Hansen’s twin sister, Susan Hansen Morrisey, said Ludwick was not a friend of her brother, only an acquaintance. “They just decided to go out that night for the first time,” she said.

Hansen’s youngest son was a classmate of one of Ludwick’s children. “They were just having a sleepover that night,” she said.

Judge Camacho rejected Prudenti’s request to increase Ludwick’s $1 million bail.

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