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Brooklyn Man Sentenced to Prison for Drunk Driving Crash That Killed a Man on Van Wyck Expressway

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Nov. 2, 2020 By Allie Griffin

A Brooklyn man will serve prison time after he drove drunk and crashed into another car — seriously injuring the driver and killing a passenger and two dogs in that vehicle— along the Van Wyck Expressway in 2018, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced Friday.

Alex Elicier, 31, was sentenced to six to 15 years in prison at Queens Supreme Court on Friday after he pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide and other charges in July.

Elicier, of Bedford-Stuyvesant, admitted he got behind the wheel of a car after he drank alcohol and smoked marijuana during the early hours on Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018 — subsequently causing a seven-car pile up that killed one man and injured five people, himself included.

Video surveillance shows Elicier drinking Hennessy and smoking marijuana at a strip club prior to the crash. He then drove his Chevy onto the Van Wyck Expressway at around 5 a.m.

Elicier weaved in and out of traffic and crossed multiple lanes on the northbound side of the expressway, Katz said. He then crashed into an Acura on the expressway near Jewel Avenue at more than 80 miles per hour, according to the charges.

The force of the collision pushed the Acura into the center guardrail and sent the vehicle airborne. It landed upside down on the southbound side of the Van Wyck Expressway where it was struck by an oncoming car.

The passenger in the Acura, Jairo Castano, 38, was crushed on impact and died at the scene. His two dogs, Brooklyn and Honey, who were also in the Acura were thrown from the vehicle and killed.

Meanwhile the driver of the Acura, 27-year-old Jasmine Rodriguez, sustained facial fractures, a broken arm and injuries to her torso, but survived the crash, the charges state.

“A man is dead because the defendant chose to get high and drive,” Katz said in a statement.

In all, seven vehicles were damaged as a direct result of the collision — including a TSA K-9 Unit that was headed to Kennedy International Airport, Katz said.

Five people were injured including Elicier, who was treated at a nearby hospital for head injuries.

Forty minutes after the crash, his blood alcohol level was .16 — double the amount of the legal limit for drivers — and his blood stream had traces of THC, a compound of marijuana, according to the charges.

“Getting behind the wheel of a car after smoking and drinking endangers everyone on the road,” Katz said. “In this instance, a loved one is tragically gone, as well as the family’s beloved dogs.”

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