A Wyandanch man was indicted for driving while intoxicated and causing a collision that killed his brother.
On July 16, at approximately 12:27 a.m., Carlos Sanchez-Benitez, 44, left a deli, where he had allegedly been drinking alcohol. While he was allegedly driving a 2016 Honda CRV westbound on Long Island Avenue in Wyandanch, he crossed over the double-yellow lines into the oncoming eastbound traffic, and collided head-on with another vehicle. The collision was captured on video surveillance from a nearby business.
The driver and passenger of that vehicle that was hit head-on were transported to local hospitals and treated for their injuries. Sanchez-Benitez’ brother and front seat passenger, Jose Ruben Sanchez-Benitez, 62, was transported to South Shore University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead from injuries he sustained in the crash.
Carlos Sanchez-Benitez was arraigned on October 5 on the indictment before County Court Judge Steven A. Pilewski for the following charges:
- one count of aggravated vehicular homicide, a Class B felony
- one count of second-degree manslaughter, a Class C felony
- one count of aggravated vehicular assault, a Class C felony
- one count of second-degree vehicular manslaughter, a Class D felony
- one count of second-degree assault, a Class D felony
- one count of second-degree vehicular assault, a Class E felony
- one count of third-degree assault, a Class A misdemeanor
- two counts of driving while intoxicated, both unclassified misdemeanors
- one count of reckless driving, an unclassified misdemeanor
Pilewski ordered Sanchez-Benitez held on $100,000 cash, $200,000 bond, or $1 million partially secured bond during the pendency of the case.
“This defendant made the horrible decision to allegedly drive while intoxicated, causing the tragic collision with another vehicle, killing his brother and seriously injuring other motorists,” said Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney. “We continue to see these preventable tragedies time and time again. I will continue my push for tougher penalties for those that decide to drive irresponsibly in Suffolk County.”