Courtroom developments came in two deadly unrelated automobile crashes from 2015.
In one case, District Attorney Darcel Clark announced that an indictment had been brought against a motorist who allegedly failed to take his seizure medication, which led to the deaths of three pedestrians struck while they were trick-or-treating on Halloween 2015 on Morris Park and Bogart avenues.
In another, Michael Moreno was sentenced to a total of two to six years after pleading guilty to charges related to the death of Gabriela Aguilar-Vallinos.
Aguilar-Vallinos worked at a restaurant on City Island and was bicycling home from work when she was struck and killed in a hit and run accident in Pelham Bay Park on September 11, 2015.
Charges brought in
The Bronx DA announced that an indictment had been successfully brought against Howard Unger of Co-op City in a deadly Morris Park Avenue crash on October 31, 2015 that took the lives of Louis Perez, Kristjan Leka, and 10-year-old Nyanna Aquil.
The 2011 Dodge Charger that Unger was driving jumped a curb after he had an epileptic seizure, the district attorney’s office claims.
Listed on the indictment are charges of three counts of second-degree assault, three counts of criminally negligent homicide, reckless endangerment and false statements.
“This defendant is accused of failing to take medication which enables him to drive safely, and it led to three needless deaths and countless heartbreak for the victims’ families,” said Clark.
Joe Thompson, president of the 49th Precinct Community Council, which covers the area where the crash occurred, said that it will be a difficult case to prosecute.
“These are gray area cases,” he said, adding “that is why we have a jury system: so that reasonable people will analyze the facts and (determine) the degree of responsibility.”
Unger has never been convicted of a crime.
Sentencing in City Island
Road hit and run
On Tuesday, October 25, Moreno was sentenced to one and one third to four years on a criminally negligent homicide charge and two to six years for leaving the scene of an accident without reporting, to be served concurrently, stated a spokesman for the district attorney’s office.
Board members of the City Island Civic Association told the Bronx Times that they mourned Aguilar-Vallinos’ passing.
CICA board members also said that early morning bus service on the Bx 29 bus is needed to accommodate restaurant employees, who have unpredictable work schedules.
The MTA needs to allocate a bus an hour after midnight on the part of the Bx 29 that services City Island, said Barbara Dolensek, CICA vice-president.
“The reliability of the service on the Bx 29 needs to be dealt with,” said John Doyle, CICA board member, saying that bus service stops running at midnight on weekdays and 1 a.m. on weekends.
He added that while Aguilar-Vallinos may have lived elsewhere, she spent long hours working on City Island and that made her part of the community.
An MTA spokeswoman stated that the agency is looking at extending service hours for the Bx 29.