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Police: Driver high on drugs kills reverend in Southern State crash

Police say A North Baldwin man killed a Long Island reverend while driving high on drugs.

News 12 Staff

Apr 19, 2019, 2:43 PM

Updated 1,886 days ago

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Police say a North Baldwin man killed a Long Island reverend while driving high on drugs.
The two-car crash happened just after midnight on the Southern State Parkway, near Exit 30 in North Massapequa. Police say Christopher Gomez-Almendarez, 23, rear-ended an SUV, sending it into nearby trees.
Rev. Chacko Mammen, 69, of North Bellmore, was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital and died of his injuries.
Gomez-Almendarez was arrested and charged with vehicular manslaughter and driving while impaired by drugs. Prosecutors say he admitted to using drugs before the crash.
Mammen was a reverend at Mar Thoma Church in Merrick. Parishioners say he'll never be forgotten. Mammen was scheduled to help with prayer services Friday and had ministered at Mar Thoma Thursday night. His final message, according to parishioners, was that faith, family and personal character are paramount.
Friends says Mammen's wife was also in the car at the time of the crash. News 12 is told she's recovering at a hospital.
Gomez-Almendarez was held on $500,000 bond. Last week, prosecutors say he was arrested on a heroin possession charge.


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