A Levittown man has pleaded not guilty to vehicular manslaughter and drunken driving after an April 22 crash on Hempstead Turnpike that killed an 81-year-old pedestrian, court records show.
James Taggart Jr., 43, was arraigned Wednesday on a recent grand jury indictment.
Police arrested Taggart on a drunken driving charge shortly after his car struck and killed Bethpage resident Robert Chapman Sr., who was trying to cross Hempstead Turnpike in Levittown in an area without a crosswalk.
The victim had gotten off a bus and was walking to work at a nearby grocery store, according to police.
Taggart's attorney, William Petrillo of Garden City, Thursday called the crash an "unavoidable accident on a dangerous road," and said his client's actions at the scene, including calling 911 and trying to help Chapman, "are consistent with his sobriety in this case."
Taggart remains free on $7,500 bail.
Nassau district attorney's office spokesman Paul Leonard said Thursday that the indictment came after "an extensive grand jury presentation" that followed a thorough probe.