FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 21, 2019
Queens Man Charged with Reckless Manslaughter for Causing
Cyclist’s Death by Speeding and Running a Red Light
Defendant Allegedly Drove at Over 60 mph and Struck Vehicle at Intersection,
Sending it Crashing into Victim, Killing Him
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that an 18-year-old Queens man has been indicted for reckless manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, assault and other charges for killing a cyclist at a Midwood intersection when he allegedly sped through a steady red light and collided with an SUV, causing it to strike the victim who was waiting for the light to change.
District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This tragic case illustrates the dangers faced by cyclists and pedestrians when drivers choose to recklessly ignore the rules of the road. I urge all motorists to obey the speed limit, follow all traffic laws and yield the right of way to those who share our streets. If they don’t, they might take a life in an instant – and face serious criminal charges. I am committed to doing my part to promote safety and will continue to investigate cases of vehicular violence and bring criminal charges whenever they are supported by the facts and the law.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Umar Mirza Baig, 18, of Rego Park, Queens. He was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun on a 17-count indictment in which he is charged with second-degree manslaughter, second-degree assault, criminally negligent homicide and other charges. Bail was set at $50,000 bond or $10,000 cash and the defendant was ordered to return to court on October 23, 2019. He faces a maximum sentence of five to 15 years in prison if convicted of the top count with which he is charged.
The District Attorney said that on August 11, 2019 the defendant was driving a 2019 Dodge Charger, going southbound on Coney Island Avenue in Midwood, Brooklyn. The investigation found that when he crossed Avenue L at 12:27 p.m., the defendant was speeding through a steady red light which turned red at least five seconds earlier, and collided with a 2018 Honda Pilot that had the light and was heading east on Avenue L. The Dodge was allegedly going at approximately 61 mph in a 25 mph zone at the time of the impact, the evidence shows.
As a result of the collision, the Honda was forced diagonally across the intersection and struck a cyclist who was situated in the southeast corner, waiting for the light to change on the northbound lanes of Coney Island Avenue.
The cyclist, 52-year-old Jose Alzorriz, was thrown off his bike and became pinned between a brick wall and the Honda. He was pronounced dead at Coney Island Hospital. The driver of the Honda sustained internal bleeding and spine trauma.
The case was investigated by Detective Jared Vazquez of the New York City Police Department’s Collision Investigation Squad.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Nocella, Deputy Chief of the District Attorney’s Vehicular Crimes Unit, and Senior Assistant District Attorney Jacob Uriel, also of the Vehicular Crimes Unit, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Craig Esswein, Unit Chief, and the overall supervision of Assistant District Attorney David Klestzick, Deputy Chief of the District Attorney’s Trial Division.
An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.