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Prosecutor: Drunken driver ran red light in fatal Commack crash

Louis Muicela, 38, of Central Islip, is led

Louis Muicela, 38, of Central Islip, is led out of the Third Precinct in Bay Shore for arraignment at First District Court in Central Islip on Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014. Credit: Ed Betz

A Central Islip man who police said was driving drunk ran a red light before crashing his Jeep into two vehicles in Commack early Friday, killing one of the drivers, a Suffolk County prosecutor said.

Louis Muicela, 38, was "driving at a high rate of speed, passing a red light without stopping," prosecutor Nicole Felice said at Muicela's arraignment Saturday.

Killed in the crash was Karl Njerve, 42, of Port Jefferson Station.

Muicela, wearing a blue hospital gown after being treated for minor injuries, was held on $75,000 cash bail or $225,500 bond during his appearance in First District Court in Central Islip.

He is charged with misdemeanor driving under the influence, but prosecutors said the charges could be upgraded to a felony based on additional evidence.

Muicela's attorney, Paul Barahal of Smithtown, said his client has a clean criminal record. Muicela is due back in court on Wednesday or Thursday.

He was driving a 2000 Jeep north on Commack Road about 4:40 a.m. when he hit a 2011 Lincoln Town Car that was going west on Jericho Turnpike, police said.

After striking the Lincoln, Muicela hit a 2006 Nissan that was stopped at a red light on southbound Townline Road, according to police.

Njerve, the driver of the Lincoln, was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. He was on his way to work as a taxi driver, Felice said.

The Nissan's driver, Carmen Lee Choy of East Northport, was not hurt.

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