Accused drunken driver in West Hempstead crash that killed 6-year-old arraigned

Police say Jorge Bonilla Gutierrez, 18, of Freeport, is facing manslaughter and DWI charges.

Cecilia Dowd

Aug 8, 2023, 5:27 PM

Updated 321 days ago

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An accused drunken driver in a West Hempstead crash that left a 6-year-old dead was arraigned Tuesday in his hospital room.
Police say Jorge Bonilla Gutierrez, 18, of Freeport, is facing manslaughter and DWI charges.
An accused drunken driver in a West Hempstead crash that left a 6-year-old dead was arraigned Tuesday in his hospital room.
Police say Jorge Bonilla Gutierrez, 18, of Freeport, is facing manslaughter and DWI charges.
According to police, Gutierrez was drunk and speeding early Monday morning when he slammed into a parked car, killing Katerine Vanegas-Hernandez just days before her seventh birthday.
The defendant admitted to consuming alcoholic beverages during an oral statement to detectives.
According to court documents, the defendant said "I had finished work and went to drop my cousin in West Hempstead. I only had two beers and they crash into me. I was under the limit to drive."
The prosecutor said beer cans were in the defendant’s car. His blood alcohol content was at least a 0.189 from a partial breath sample.
The prosecutor also said that charges could be elevated following the testing of blood samples.
Gutierrez also did not have a license to drive in New York and was previously convicted of driving without a license, according to the prosecutor.
In total, police say five people were injured, including a 5-year-old child.
The judge ordered Gutierrez be held without bail.
His next court date is scheduled for Thursday.


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