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Queens Chronicle

Hit and run

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Posted: Thursday, March 3, 2011 12:00 am

A Long Island City man who pleaded guilty in January to felony vehicular manslaughter for driving drunk and killing a deliveryman will spend time in prison.

“It is not just the defendant who pays a heavy price for drinking and driving,” said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. “His reckless actions resulted in the untimely death of a hardworking man who came to America, hoping to make a better life for himself and his wife. Now she must go on without him. Individuals must come to understand that when they drive under the influence of alcohol, their vehicles cease to be means of transportation and instead become deadly weapons capable of inflicting great bodily harm not just to themselves but to all who cross their paths.”

Richard Contreras, 29, of Greenpoint Avenue, pleaded guilty to first-degree vehicular manslaughter on Jan. 18, before Queens Supreme Court Justice Dorothy Chin-Brandt, who Tuesday sentenced Contreras to an indeterminate term of 3 to 10 years in prison.

Contreras was driving on Feb. 12, 2010, when he hit the scooter of Jianqui Chen, 52, at the intersection of 39th Place and the Queens Midtown Expressway. Chen died as a result.

Contreras fled the scene but when he was found, an test administered revealed a blood alcohol content reading of .195 percent, far surpassing the legal limit of .08 percent.

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