Drunk driving in New York City is a serious problem, especially in the early morning hours after the clubs have closed. The section of the West Side Highway below 57th Street is particularly dangerous, as fast moving cars try to time the traffic lights so drivers can avoid stopping. Mostly an isolated area in the early morning hours, it is not a place one wishes to break down. It is also a location where there is a high incidence of drunk driving.

A motorcyclist was killed just before 4:30 a.m. on 12th Avenue, while heading north on 46th Street. The accident occurred outside a car wash, which fortunately had a video security camera. The tape, along with witness statements, indicated that the motorcyclist was stopped at the light and appeared to be having difficulty with his bike. Tragically, while trying to restart his motorcycle, he was struck by a white Honda. The collision threw a passenger from the car, but the driver of the Honda immediately left the scene of the accident. Moments later, the motorcyclist was struck a second time, by a 1995 Chevy.

The Chevy driver stopped immediately. The police charged him with drunk driving. The motorcyclist was taken to Roosevelt Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The injured passenger from the Honda was taken to Bellevue Hospital with a broken leg. Police, described the site as a problem area, and were continuing their investigation.

Police will continue to look for the driver of the first car. They will have to sort out what charges, if any; will be brought against either of the drivers.

Drunk driving accidents that result in a fatality can expose the defendant to prison, probation, and loss of driving privileges. Substantial fines may also be imposed for those convicted. Causing or contributing to a fatal accident is a somber and intimidating experience. A New York attorney familiar with fatal drunk driving accidents as they relate to criminal law may provide some understanding and guidance during such a difficult time.

Source: The DNAinfo, “Motorcyclist Killed by Hit-Run and Drunk Drivers on 12th Avenue, Police Say,” Patrick Wall and Tom Liddy, Aug. 7, 2011