You are reading

Drunk Driver Gets Max Sentence After Killing Pedestrian


Nov. 25, 2015 Staff Report

A motorist received up to eight years in prison for striking and killing a pedestrian while driving drunk, according to the Queens District Attorney.

Florida resident Romulo Mejia, 43, pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide and driving while intoxicated. While driving drunk, Mejia struck and killed a pedestrian who was crossing the street — outside of the crosswalk — at the intersection of Roosevelt Avenue/92nd Street.

He was arrested in July 2014 and held in custody in lieu of $200,000 bail.

Judge Gregory Lasak doled out the maximum legal sentence, up to eight years in prison, according to District Attorney Richard Brown. Mejia also had his driver’s license revoked for one year and he will be required to install and use an ignition interlocking device on his vehicle for three years following his release from prison.

Mejia struck and killed Fernando Dorado, 38, last July.

At the time, police noted that Mejia’s eyes were bloodshot and watery, his speech slurred and his breath smelled like alcohol. The red Ford Focus he had been driving was facing eastbound in a westbound lane and apparently mounted the curb after crossing the double yellow lines and striking a parked car. The police also concluded that Mejia was driving faster than the 30 mph speed limit.

Mejia is the second motorist in the past week to receive the maximum sentence for his crime, Brown noted.

Nicholas Colleran, 25, of Astoria, was sentenced to up to four years in State prison for going through a stop sign and fatally striking Betty DiBiasio, 21, in June.

Colleran struck DiBiasio when she was walking in a marked crosswalk at the intersection of Ditmars Boulevard and 19th Street, and then fled.

Colleran admitted to the 114th Precinct that he had been driving after two beers and that he panicked and fled the scene after hitting DiBiasio. He did not produce a valid driver’s license.

He pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide.

“These cases are yet two more tragic examples of how deadly motor vehicles can be and the lethal consequences of climbing behind the wheel of an automobile after consuming alcohol or ignoring traffic regulations,” Brown said. “Driving is a privilege, not a right, and extreme caution should – and must – be exercised at all times in order to prevent lives from being senselessly destroyed.”

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Met Council leader warns of ‘catastrophe’ for low-income families in Queens due to lack of pandemic-era federal food aid

Mar. 28, 2023 By Bill Parry

As an accomplished legislator, law professor and media personality with broad experience in government and not-for-profit organizations, Met Council CEO and executive director David Greenfield is well aware of the power of words. With Passover arriving on Wednesday, April 5, and with federal pandemic food assistance no longer available to low-income families in Queens, the leader of the nation’s largest Jewish charity organization warned of a coming “catastrophe” and called for the city to step up to provide $13 million in emergency funding for pantries to help New Yorkers facing food insecurity and elevated costs of living in the borough.

Pair of Queens community organizations will activate public spaces to celebrate local cultures

Two Queens community organizations are among an inaugural cohort of five groups citywide that will lead new projects to celebrate local cultures and histories in public spaces under a new initiative called The Local Center in a partnership between Urban Design Forum and the Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development (ANHD).

At a time when New York is grappling with an uneven pandemic recovery and as displacement looms large for communities and neighborhoods across the five boroughs, this new endeavor will convene interdisciplinary teams to transform and activate the shared spaces where cultural traditions flourish — and importantly, center the community visions and leadership that is too often left out of the process.