A New Cassel man is expected to serve 2 to 6 years in prison after he admitted to killing his cousin in a drunken driving crash, prosecutors said Tuesday.
Hugo Ramirez-Mendoza, 38, pleaded guilty Monday to aggravated vehicular homicide and aggravated driving while intoxicated. He is scheduled to be sentenced April 4.
Prosecutors said that Ramirez-Mendoza was driving a 2000 Chevrolet pick-up truck northbound on Urban Avenue in New Cassel in the early morning hours of Feb. 19., 2011, when he crashed into the back of a box truck parked on the right side of the road. Ramirez-Mendoza's front-seat passenger, Brian Torres, 32, of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., nearly severed his right arm, and had massive head injuries. He died hours later.
Ramirez-Mendoza's blood-alcohol content was .18 more than an hour after the crash, prosecutors said.
"The victim's tragic death is only compounded by the fact that it occurred as the result of his own cousin's decision to drink and drive," said Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice. "Mr. Ramirez-Mendoza will have to continue living with that fact long after his prison sentence is complete."