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DA: Thomas Vaughan indicted in pedestrian fatal

Thomas Vaughan, 59, was driving a 2007 Chevrolet

Thomas Vaughan, 59, was driving a 2007 Chevrolet Trailblazer west on Express Drive North in Lake Ronkonkoma at 2:30 a.m. when he hit a man who was in the traffic lane, police said. The pedestrian was pronounced dead at the scene by a physician assistant from the Suffolk County Medical Examiner's office, police said. (March 24, 2013) Credit: James Carbone

A Lake Grove man arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated after a March 24 crash that killed a pedestrian in Lake Ronkonkoma was arraigned on upgraded charges in an indictment unsealed Tuesday.

Thomas Vaughan, 43, was charged with first-degree vehicular manslaughter, two counts of second-degree vehicular manslaughter, aggravated driving while intoxicated and two misdemeanor counts of driving while intoxicated. He had a blood-alcohol content of .08 percent or more, authorities said. The legal limit in New York is .08.

Authorities said Vaughan, who had a DWI conviction in September 1990, left a Patchogue bar and was driving west on Express Drive North when the crash occurred near Carroll Avenue at 2:30 a.m.

Police said Vaughan struck and killed Gary Kroll, 59, of Lake Ronkonkoma, as he was walking in the road. Vaughan later told police: "Someone came out of nowhere into the road," prosecutors said.

The six-count indictment follows an investigation by the Suffolk County police Vehicular Crime Unit, Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota said.

Vaughan's attorney did not immediately return a call Tuesday.

Vaughan has been out on $5,000 cash bail, authorities said, but Tuesday, State Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho indicated he will raise the bail to $25,000 cash or $50,000 bond at Vaughan's July 30 court date.

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