A Maryland tow truck owner has been charged with reckless endangerment and operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol for allegedly driving the wrong way on the Van Wyck Expressway early Sunday morning and slamming head on into a van filled with teenagers coming from a party.
The driver of the van, 34-year-old Jose Chimbo of Baltimore, was allegedly driving a 2004 Nissan Murano the wrong way on the Van Wyck Expressway near Northern Boulevard in Flushing shortly after 2 a.m. on Sunday, when his vehicle collided head on with a 2007 Ford Econoline van.In the van were the driver and thirteen teenagers being driven home from a party. When police arrived at the scene, Chimbo allegedly admitted to officers that he had a few drinks.
Chimbo was taken to a local hospital, which Queens DA Richard Brown’s office did not name, where a blood test was administered to him. The results are pending. The defendant remains hospitalized with a broken left leg, severe deep wounds to his side and injuries to his arm, shoulder and back.
The driver of the van and the teenagers were also taken to the same hospital, where they were all treated for minor injuries and later released.
“The defendant is accused of getting behind the wheel of his vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and driving the wrong way on one of the city’s major highways, endangering not only his own life but that of other motorists – including a van filled withyoung people which he hit,” Brown said. “It is a miracle that no one was more seriously injured or killed.”
Chimbo is presently awaiting arraignment on a criminal complaint charging him with first-degree reckless endangerment, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and unlawfully driving his vehicle in a direction other than the one designated on the roadway.
Chimbo faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.