In an exceedingly rare move, the Brooklyn District Attorney's office has convicted a hit-and-run driver of pedestrian manslaughter without the involvement of a DWI.
Streetsblog reports that Adam Recio pled guilty on Monday to killing 35-year-old Raul De La Cruz and seriously injuring an unidentified 24-year-old woman with his car while they were crossing at an intersection in Williamsburg in November 2012.
Recio, then 27, admitted that he struck the two pedestrians with his 2004 Chevy Malibu at Borinquen Place near Keap Street and fled the scene; at the time, a witness told the Daily News, "In 30 years of driving I've never seen anything like this. The guy was going so fast. He was like a bat out of hell." Recio was also driving without a license, and faces up to 15 years in jail. De La Cruz, who died at the scene, had two children and was killed on his oldest daughter's 10th birthday.
Streetsblog notes that district attorneys in New York City rarely level manslaughter charges at drivers who kill pedestrians without also charging them with DWIs. It is also noteworthy that the driver who killed Margaret Fisher, a nurse, on the Upper West Side in 2010 pled guilty to manslaughter charges, but was only sentenced to 1 to 3 years in prison.
This year to date, at least 13 pedestrians and cyclists have been killed by drivers in Brooklyn—earlier this month, 27-year-old Felipe Castro was killed by a hit-and-run driver in Gowanus while repairing a car outside the auto repair shop where he worked.
Recio will be sentenced next month.