Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the trial conviction of DOMONIC WHILBY, 25, for killing William Pena, an MTA bus driver, on February 12, 2014, while driving a commercial truck taken from a Meatpacking District hotel. A New York State Supreme Court jury found WHILBY guilty of Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, Manslaughter in the Second Degree, Vehicular Manslaughter in the Second Degree, and Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree. WHILBY is expected to be sentenced on April 25, 2017.
“Because of Domonic Whilby’s reckless decisions, a beloved family member and public servant is dead,” said District Attorney Vance. “This was a devastating and utterly preventable tragedy. My heart goes out to Mr. Pena’s family, friends, and coworkers, as well as the four other pedestrians, passengers, and motorists who were injured that day.”
As proven at trial, at approximately 5:22 a.m., WHILBY, who had been drinking alcohol over an approximately five-hour period, entered a commercial truck that was parked at the loading dock of the Dream Hotel in the Meatpacking District, started the engine, and attempted to drive away. As he was pulling out of the hotel loading dock, he drove the truck into the walls of the dock, a taxi cab, and another truck.
After exiting the hotel, WHILBY drove westbound on West 16th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues and struck a scooter, injuring the scooter’s driver. After speeding through the intersection of West 16th Street and 8th Avenue, WHILBY turned southbound onto 7th Avenue. After running a red light, the defendant struck an MTA bus on the southeast corner of the intersection of West 14th Street and 7th Avenue, causing the bus to careen into scaffolding. The bus driver, Mr. Pena, was ejected from the bus and died at the scene. Additionally, three people suffered injuries as a result of the crash: one bus passenger, a sidewalk vendor, and a customer of the vendor.
Assistant District Attorneys Randolph Clarke, Jr., and Atalanta Mihas handled the prosecution of the case, under the supervision of the current Chief and former co-Chief of the Vehicular Crimes Unit, Jill Hoexter and John Wolfstaetter. Assistant District Attorneys Stuart Silberg and Connie Fernandez, current and former Deputy Chiefs of Trial Bureau 30, and Assistant District Attorney Eugene Porcaro, former Chief of Trial Bureau 30, also assisted, as did Executive Assistant District Attorney John Irwin, Trial Preparation Assistants Emily Hogan and Clare Haugh, former Trial Preparation Assistant Krystal Valentin, and Technology Analyst Jorge Miranda.
District Attorney Vance thanked members of the NYPD’s Collision Investigation Squad, 10th Precinct Detective Squad and Patrol, and Manhattan South Homicide Squad.
DOMONIC WHILBY, D.O.B. 6/1/1991
• Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, a class B felony, one count
• Manslaughter in the Second Degree, a class C felony, one count
• Vehicular Manslaughter in the Second Degree, a class D felony, one count
• Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree, a class A misdemeanor, one count