In New York, manslaughter of the second degree is a felony that involves causing another's death by reckless behavior. Schenectady police arrested a 41-year-old man for that offense on Monday, Aug. 17, and for several other felony charges and misdemeanor offenses. The charges arose out of events occurring the previous Friday evening when the man allegedly hit two pedestrians in two separate incidents only minutes apart, and left the scene in both cases.
Police announced on Aug. 17 that the perpetrator had turned himself in. He first allegedly hit a 61-year-old man who was crossing the street near an intersection. The victim was taken to a hospital and is still there recuperating. In the second incident, he reportedly struck a 29-year-old man near another intersection. That man was rushed to a hospital but was declared dead.
Assuming that the suspect is the perpetrator, turning himself in was clearly the right and wise thing to do. The driver had been driving a company van owned by the Schenectady Recycling and Redemption Center. The van was abandoned on the roadway shortly after the second collision, and the driver would certainly have been identified through the police investigation. It is unknown whether the employer knew that its employee was apparently operating the vehicle without a license.
Other charges against the suspect are two counts of first degree reckless endangerment, two counts of leaving the scene, reckless driving and aggravated unlicensed driving. The suspect clearly faces several years of confinement for the several misdemeanor and felony charges under New York law. Police stated that they didn't believe that alcohol or drugs was involved. Nonetheless, if it can be proved that the accused drove recklessly, he must expect that the sentence will include some significant period of incarceration. Counsel will likely bargain vigorously for the dismissal of several of the overlapping charges.
Source: news10.com, "Police make arrest in fatal Schenectady hit-and-run", Lindsay Nielsen, Aug. 17, 2015