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Trooper: Wrong-way driver drunk, confused

Police say Michael Bowen, 50, of Brooklyn, was

Police say Michael Bowen, 50, of Brooklyn, was driving drunk and the wrong way on the Northern State Parkway in 2010, when he fatally collided with a car driven by Andre Menzies, a cop who was driving home from work. (Nov. 15, 2010) Photo Credit: Handout

Shortly after driving drunk the wrong way on the Northern State Parkway and killing a New York City police officer, a Brooklyn man didn't know where he was or that he'd killed anyone, a state trooper testified Friday.

Michael Bowen, 51, is charged with aggravated vehicular homicide and several other felonies in the death of Officer Andre Menzies, 35, of North Babylon.

Authorities say Bowen got lost on his way from Brooklyn to Mount Vernon on Nov. 15 and ended up between Exits 41 and 42, where he executed a three-point turn and headed west in the eastbound lanes with his headlights off.

Suffolk County Court Judge James Hudson began a hearing Friday to determine if statements Bowen made will be admissible at his trial.

"He stated he had no idea where he was" at the time of the crash, Trooper Michael Mangano said during questioning by Assistant District Attorney Patricia Brosco. "He said to tell the other guy he'll pay to have his car fixed."

Mangano testified that when he arrived at the scene, Bowen was unsteady and leaning against his Chevrolet Astro van, and there was a strong odor of alcohol on his breath.

He was fumbling with a cellphone, struggling to make a call, Mangano said. A roadside breath test indicated a blood-alcohol level of 0.23 percent, almost three times the legal limit.

Mangano said he went to get a fellow trooper, Brendan Dillon. "This guy is bombed out of his skull," he said he told Dillon, who put Bowen under arrest.

During cross-examination, defense attorney Marvyn Kornberg of Kew Gardens suggested that Bowen's unsteadiness could have been the result of the crash. He also asked if Bowen was trying to call a lawyer.

Mangano, who had to take the phone from Bowen's hands, said he didn't know who he was calling. The hearing resumes March 23.


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