Yesterday's wrong-way crash on the Long Island Expressway claimed the life of a Queens father of three. Mauricio Visoso-Ornelas was riding in Juan Cruz's mini when Cruz somehow started driving west in the eastbound HOV lane. According to Newsday, at 4:45 a.m., Cruz hit a "median at a spot where the edge of the median was uneven because of the placement of a stanchion, just west of the Sunnyside Boulevard overpass in Plainview. The passenger side of the van was torn off." Visoso-Ornelas was pronounced dead at Nassau University Medical Center.
Cruz, 27, who was charged with second-degree manslaughter, reckless driving and DWI, was able to get out of the vehicle and reportedly told cops that a second passenger was missing. After hours of searching, authorities determined that Visoso-Ornelas was the only passenger.
The Daily News spoke to relatives who said that Visoso-Ornelas was "a hardworking marble and tile worker" and a "dedicated father of three who spent all his free time playing soccer, relatives said." His wife said, who called him a "great husband" and "great father," also "said she had been with him at the Long Island baby shower but had fallen asleep and did not know why he left with Cruz."