A horrific car accident allegedly caused by a driver impaired by alcohol killed one man and injured two others in Howard Beach Saturday morning.
The accident happened at the intersection of 159th Avenue and 98th Street at around 1 a.m.
According to police, a 2006 Ford sedan operated by James Celauro, 23, of Ozone Park, was traveling southbound on 98th Street, entered the intersection and struck a 2001 Saturn, operated by James Sinisi, 38, of Glendale.
The force of the accident caused Celauro’s car to jump the curb, barrel through the small brick barrier of a dentist’s office on the corner and hit the front stoop of the building. Sinisi’s car spun down the block and slammed into another parked car. The Saturn was damaged so badly that police needed to use the jaws of life to extract Sinisi from his car. An unidentified passenger riding with Sinisi was also injured.
EMS also responded to the location and transported both Sinisi, his passenger and Celauro to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, where Sinisi was declared dead on arrival and Celauro and Sinisi’s passenger were listed in stable condition.
Police suspected Celauro had been driving drunk. He was later released from the hospital and arrested for vehicular manslaughter and driving while impaired by alcohol, which is a charge less serious than driving while intoxicated typically levied on drivers who have alcohol in their system, but less than the legal blood alcohol content of .08 percent. Celauro’s lawyer told the Daily News that the suspect had a BAC of below .08 when he blew into a hand-held tester at the scene, but he declined to a more comprehensive test. Police said they drew blood from Celauro at the scene. The assistant district attorney assigned to the case told a judge results of the blood tests were not available Monday morning.
Celauro is being held at Rikers Island on $300,000 bail.