DA Vance: Driver Charged With Manslaughter for Fatal Williamsburg Bridge Car Crash

May 4, 2017

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the indictment of STEFAN HOYTE, 26, for crashing a car into a pillar on the Williamsburg Bridge—killing 21-year-old Amanda Miner, one of the car’s passengers—while under the influence of alcohol. The defendant is charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with Manslaughter in the Second Degree, Vehicular Manslaughter in the Second Degree, and two counts of Operating a Motor Vehicle While Under the Influence of Alcohol.1

“In the hands of an intoxicated driver, a vehicle can become a powerful weapon capable of destructive and deadly force,” said District Attorney Vance. “In this horrific case, the defendant is charged with drunkenly slamming into a pillar in such an unwieldy, uncontrolled manner and at such a dangerously high speed that the impact severed the victim in two. Drunk drivers take the lives of fellow motorists and passengers into their own hands with disastrous results, and my Office’s Vehicular Crimes Unit remains committed to ensuring that these offenders face justice.” 

According to court documents and statements made in court, on March 16, 2017, at approximately 3:12 a.m., HOYTE was driving the victim and her boyfriend home from a Manhattan bar, heading eastbound on the Williamsburg Bridge. The defendant, who was driving a 2013 Infiniti G37 well over the speed limit, lost control of the vehicle and struck a pillar that divided the inner and outer roadway of the Bridge. The force of the impact severed the vehicle—and the victim, who was seated in the rear passenger seat—in half. A black box recovered from the vehicle revealed that HOYTE had been driving a speed of 111 miles per hour in the seconds before the crash.

NYPD officers from the 7th Precinct responded to a 911 call within minutes and arrested the defendant at the scene around 3:40 a.m. At the time of the arrest, the arresting officer observed that HOYTE appeared to be under the influence of alcohol. According to a hospital blood draw taken shortly after his arrest, the defendant had a blood alcohol level of .12. 

Assistant District Attorney Christina Ante is handling the prosecution of the case with Assistant District Attorney Thandiwe Gray, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Maureen O’Connor, Deputy Chief of the Special Litigation Bureau, and Executive Assistant District Attorney John Irwin, Chief of the Trial Division. Assistant District Attorney Jill Hoexter, Chief of the Vehicular Crimes Unit, is also assisting with the prosecution of this case.

District Attorney Vance thanked the NYPD for assisting with the investigation, particularly Officer Matthew Mauro of the 7th Precinct and Detective Michael Sharpe of the Highway District.

[1] The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant are 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.

Defendant Information:

STEFAN HOYTE, D.O.B. 12/29/1990
Brooklyn, NY

•    Manslaughter in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 1 count
•    Vehicular Manslaughter in the Second Degree, a class D felony, 1 count
•    Operating a Motor Vehicle While Intoxicated, an unclassified misdemeanor, 2 counts