Despite all our gains in public safety, too many pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists still perish needlessly at the hands of reckless drivers in New York City each year. Understanding that prosecutors have a key role to play in citywide efforts to reduce traffic fatalities, District Attorney Vance has made the investigation and prosecution of vehicular crimes a key priority for our Office.
Our Vehicular Crimes Unit oversees cases involving vehicle-related crimes ranging from DWIs to homicides. Prosecutors work closely with the NYPD, often partnering with case detectives and visiting the scene of a collision when it first occurs, and regularly host vehicular enforcement training sessions for law enforcement across New York City.
Crucial to this work is advocating for legislation to help prevent and prosecute vehicular crimes, as well as defending our existing laws in court. DA Vance has long called for the installation of speed safety cameras in every school zone in New York City. Additionally, our prosecutors continue to aggressively enforce New York City’s “Right of Way Law,” and have successfully defended the law’s constitutionality in landmark criminal prosecutions.
- Domonic Whilby was sentenced to 8 1/3 to 25 years in prison after being found guilty at trial of charges including Aggravated Vehicular Homicide and Manslaughter for killing an MTA bus driver while driving a commercial truck taken from a Meatpacking District hotel in February 2014.
- Following his trial conviction for Criminally Negligent Homicide, Roberto Mercado was sentenced to 1-to-3 years in prison for fatally striking 61-year-old Jean Chambers with his car on the Upper West Side in July 2014.
- Tiffany Murdaugh was sentenced to 2-to-6 years in prison for recklessly driving onto a crowded sidewalk near a school in Lower Manhattan, striking and seriously injury a 37-year-old woman walking with her two young children.
- After being convicted at trial of Manslaughter in the Second Degree, Danny Lin was sentenced to 1 2/3-to-5 years in state prison for speeding down the Bowery at twice the legal speed limit, striking and killing a pedestrian.
- Shaun Martin was sentenced to 20 years-to-life in state prison for driving his car into a grocery store on East 4th Street — killing one of the grocery store workers and injuring several others — while under the influence of drugs.