D.A. Vance: Driver Charged with Manslaughter for Striking Two Pedestrians in Cross Walk, Killing 3-Year-Old Boy

February 17, 2021

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. today announced the indictment of JAIME SABOGAL, 61, for striking two pedestrians in a crosswalk with his pick-up truck in East Harlem, killing 3-year-old Bertin DeJesus and injuring his mother, while driving with a suspended license. SABOGAL is charged in a New York Supreme Court indictment with Manslaughter in the Second Degree and Criminally Negligent Homicide, among other charges.[1]

“As alleged, this defendant made a fast left turn into a crosswalk where three-year-old Bertin DeJesus was walking with his mother, killing the child nearly instantly with his pick-up truck,” said District Attorney Vance. “Not only was the defendant driving recklessly with no regard for pedestrians, but he did so knowing his driver’s license had been suspended. This type of abhorrent conduct is why my Office is pushing for legislation that enhances criminal accountability for vehicular violence and keeps reckless drivers off the road. We can never bring back Bertin, whose young life was cut so unthinkably short, but we can and will seek justice in this case and work to prevent future tragedies in his memory.”

According to court documents and statements made on the record in court, at approximately 9:35 a.m. on December 9, 2019, three-year-old Bertin DeJesus was walking with his mother in the crosswalk at the intersection of East 116th Street and First Avenue. Driving a pick-up truck with a suspended driver’s license, SABOGAL made a fast left turn from 116th Street onto First Avenue, striking both the child and his mother. Bertin DeJesus was declared dead from his injuries less than an hour later.

Assistant D.A.s Annie Siegel and David Ginensky are handling the prosecution of the case under the supervision of Assistant D.A. Erin LaFarge and William Beesch, Deputy Chiefs of the Vehicular Crimes Unit, and Jill Hoexter, Chief of the Vehicular Crimes Unit, as well as Executive Assistant D.A. Joan Illuzzi, Chief of the Trial Division. Trial Preparation Assistant Elias Neibart is assisting with the case.

District Attorney Vance thanked the NYPD’s Collision Investigation Squad and other Highway Unit Officers for their assistance.

Defendant Information:

Yonkers, NY

Manslaughter in the Second Degree, a class C felony, one count
Criminally Negligent Homicide, a class E felony, one count
Assault in the Third Degree, a class A misdemeanor, two counts
Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle in the Third Degree, an unclassified misdemeanor, one count
The Right of Way of Pedestrians and Bicyclists – Physical Injury, an unclassified misdemeanor, two counts
Failure of a Driver to Exercise Due Care – Serious Physical Injury, an infraction, one count

[1] The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. All factual recitations are derived from documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court.