July 21, 2021 By Christian Murray
An FDNY firefighter who allegedly killed a man while driving drunk in Jackson Heights last year has been indicted on charges of aggravated vehicular homicide—and other crimes—and faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
John DaSilva, 31, was indicted today for allegedly killing Grady Romero-Duarte during the early hours on June 30, 2020 when he slammed into his victim’s vehicle while driving drunk on 35th Avenue.
“Because of the defendant’s alleged recklessness and selfish choices, another driver is dead and his loved ones left mourning a senseless loss of life,” said Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.
According to the charges, DaSilva was driving drunk in a Jeep Grand Cherokee at around 65 miles per hour eastbound on 35th Avenue when he barreled into Romero-Duarte who was turning left in a BMW onto 35th Avenue from 95th Street.
The impact sent Romero-Duarte’s vehicle into a spin and it collided with four unoccupied parked cars on 35th Avenue. Meanwhile, DaSilva’s vehicle also struck a parked car before coming to a stop on the southeast corner of 35th Avenue and 95th Street.
EMS responded to the scene and both men were taken to a local hospital. Romero-Duarte was pronounced dead soon after.
A blood sample taken shortly after the crash determined that DaSilva, of Staten Island, had a blood alcohol level of 0.22—nearly three times the legal limit, according to the District Attorney’s office.
DaSilva faces a multitude of charges, including aggravated vehicular homicide, vehicular manslaughter, manslaughter in the second degree, criminally negligent homicide, assault and misdemeanor aggravated driving while intoxicated.
Queens Supreme Court Justice John Zoll ordered DaSilva to return to court on Sept. 30.