For the first time in Brooklyn history, two drivers face criminal charges for the death of a single victim, according to Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson, who has announced the indictment of two men on manslaughter charges for a horrific crash on Eastern Parkway in August. Prosecutors say Richard Roman-Santos, 32, was driving a Camaro 90 mph when he drunkenly plowed into Gerrard Herbert, who was drunkenly making a left turn in his Nissan Altima onto Troy Avenue.
At the time of the collision, which occurred at 4:15 a.m. on August 17th, the victim, Michelle Mignott, 32, was lying down asleep in the backseat of Herbert's Nissan. She was crushed on impact, and died en route to the hospital. A second woman, age 33, who was seated in the front passenger seat of the Nissan, suffered burns and bruises.
Herbert refused a breathalyzer test at the scene, but a warrant for his blood was obtained and prosecutors say "his blood alcohol level tested at .07, seven hours later, putting it at approximately .18 to .20 at the time of the crash—more than twice the legal limit. The legal level for intoxication is .08. Defendant Roman-Santos, who was driving alone, registered a blood alcohol level of .08 at the scene."
The 26-count indictment charges both men with second-degree manslaughter and other charges. Herbert was also charged with driving with a suspended license. Both defendants were ordered to turn over their passports; their licenses were suspended and both were ordered not to drive while out on bail and not to leave New York City.
In a statement, DA Thompson said, "These defendants—who are strangers to one another—tragically took the life of a young woman when they both made absolutely the wrong decision to drink and drive. We will now hold them accountable for their fatal conduct."
Migmott had studied law upstate after she moved to Brooklyn from Jamaica with her father in the 1990s, the Daily News reported after the crash. A neighbor called her "no nonsense" but added that she had "a fun, mischievous side."