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Orange County News
For Immediate Release Contact: Christopher BorekApril 2, 2018 845.291.3276, 845.238.4245c
District Attorney Hoovler Announces Indictment in Fatal Car Crash
Defendant Charged with Vehicular Manslaughter in Connection
with Motor Vehicle Death of Passenger
Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced that on Monday, April 2, 2018, Robert Higgins, 24, of Highland Mills, was arraigned before Orange County Court Judge Craig Stephen Brown, on an indictment charging him with crimes including Vehicular Manslaughter in the First Degree and Aggravated Operating a Motor Vehicle While Under the Influence of Alcohol. The charges were filed in connection with the death of a young man who had been a passenger in a car that Higgins was driving on December 22, 2017.
The indictment alleges that Higgins had been driving an automobile on December 22, 2017, at about 1:30 A.M., on Route 32 in the Town of Woodbury, while intoxicated. It is alleged that the car driven by Higgins collided with a tractor trailer, killing Higgins’s passenger.
The matter was presented to an Orange County grand jury, which charged Higgins with Vehicular Manslaughter in the First Degree, Vehicular Manslaughter in the Second Degree (2 counts), Aggravated Operating a Motor Vehicle While Under the Influence of Alcohol, and Operating a Motor Vehicle While Under the Influence of Alcohol (2 counts). Bail was set in the amount of $5,000. Higgins is next scheduled to appear in court on May 10, 2018.
District Attorney Hoovler thanked the New York State Police and the Town of Woodbury Police Department for their investigation.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Steven Goldberg.
“Fatalities which occur as the result of driving while intoxicated are as tragic as they are preventable,” said District Attorney Hoovler. “Too many lives have been irreparably harmed by those who drive while intoxicated. No one wants to have to live with the guilt of knowing that they caused the death of a friend, loved one, or some other innocent person using the roads. If you have been drinking, call a taxicab or make other arrangements to get yourself safely home.”
A criminal charge is merely an allegation by the police that a defendant has committed a violation of the criminal law, and it is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the State of New York’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.