MINEOLA - A Brooklyn man was arraigned on a 12-count grand jury indictment Wednesday for a DWI crash that killed a 21-year-old man in September.
Raj Jadeja, 35, pleaded not guilty on multiple charges – including aggravated vehicular homicide, which carries up to 25 years in prison.
The crash occurred just past Exit 46 on the LIE after police say George Ragotte, of Ronkonkoma, had slowed to avoid the remnants of an earlier collision. Authorities say Jadeja's BMW slammed into the 21-year-old from behind. Ragotte was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
According to the police report, a witness told an officer he saw Jadeja's car pass him at about 100 mph just before the accident. Police also say Jadeja refused a blood alcohol test twice.
Police then got a court order to force a blood test. Prosecutors say it showed Jadeja was still legally drunk hours after the crash. They say he also had Xanax in his system.
Jadeja's lawyer Steven Epstein says the tragedy was not caused by his client, and blames other drivers for slowing down at the scene of the earlier crash.
Jadeja, a lawyer with a practice in Hempstead, is due back in court on March 23.