Dec. 1, 2021 By Christian Murray
A Connecticut man who allegedly drove drunk and killed a dirt bike rider on the Long Island Expressway in September has been indicted on vehicular manslaughter charges.
Jorge Serrano, 30, fatally struck a 19-year-old dirt bike rider while driving drunk westbound on the Long Island Expressway during the early hours of Sept. 11, 2021, according to the charges. He fled the scene before being picked up by police in Maspeth—about two miles from the crash site.
Serrano, who was allegedly driving without a valid license at the time of the crash, faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
“This is a senseless tragedy on a Queens highway caused by a motorist who allegedly chose to ignore the rules of the road, driving while drunk and without a valid license,” said Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz in a statement. “Now a man is dead and his family left grieving a sudden and unnecessary loss. The defendant is now charged with very serious crimes.”
According to the charges, Serrano struck the teenage dirt bike rider—as well as a moped rider—that were both headed westbound. After allegedly striking the dirt bike, Serrano’s vehicle dragged the bike and its 19-year-old rider approximately 100 yards on the highway. The defendant then fled the scene.
Responding police officers found the dirt bike rider, Edwin Puma, unresponsive at the scene and bleeding from his mouth. He was immediately transported to a local hospital, where he was later pronounced deceased.
Additionally, police officers discovered the moped rider, a 23-year-old man, at the scene. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment of a broken left leg.
Cops allegedly nabbed Serrano after finding his vehicle parked in the middle of the crosswalk at Maspeth Avenue and 61st Street, approximately two miles from the scene of the crash.
He was arrested, according to the indictment, after police determined that he was intoxicated. He allegedly had bloodshot, watery eyes, slurred speech and a strong odor of alcohol on his breath.
A breathalyzer was administered about two hours after the collision, according to authorities, and showed Serrano’s blood ethanol level to be 0.16, which is two times the legal limit.
Serrano has been slapped with a 13-count indictment charging him with aggravated vehicular homicide, two counts of vehicular manslaughter in the second degree, criminally negligent homicide, vehicular assault in the first degree, assault in the second degree, two counts of operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, leaving the scene of an incident without reporting/death, reckless driving, two counts of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and driving by unlicensed operator.
He has been ordered to return to court Dec. 14, 2021.