Dec. 9, 2020 By Allie Griffin
A passenger in a stolen vehicle is dead after the driver smashed into a tree in East Elmhurst on Tuesday, police said.
Christian Carrion-Rivera, 26, was behind the wheel of a stolen SUV when he lost control at around 9:15 a.m. while speeding along Ditmars Boulevard. The car then veered off the road and struck two trees near the intersection of 97th Street, police said.
Carrion-Rivera got out of the crashed car and fled, leaving his unconscious 24-year-old passenger, Felix Lopez, behind in the wreck, police said.
Officers caught up to Carrion-Rivera, a resident of Kew Gardens Hills, within minutes and cuffed him at 9:21 a.m. He was charged with grand larceny auto, criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal possession of stolen property.
The officers found Lopez unresponsive with severe body trauma. EMS rushed him to Elmhurst Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The SUV was stolen from a driveway in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn, according to police.