Driver Who Killed 3 People on Bronx Sidewalk Charged With Manslaughter

Nyanna Aquil, left, her grandfather Louis Perez, and Kristian Leka were killed in the Bronx by a curb-jumping driver last Halloween. Bronx DA Darcel Clark charged Howard Unger with multiple counts of manslaughter, assault, and homicide for the crash.
Nyanna Aquil, left, her grandfather Louis Perez, and Kristian Leka were killed in the Bronx by a curb-jumping driver last Halloween. Bronx DA Darcel Clark charged Howard Unger with multiple counts of manslaughter, assault, and homicide for the crash.

District Attorney Darcel Clark filed manslaughter and homicide charges against a motorist who fatally struck three people, including a child, on a Bronx sidewalk last year.

Howard Unger was indicted this week on three counts of manslaughter, three counts of assault, three counts of homicide, one count of misdemeanor reckless endangerment, and one misdemeanor count of falsifying records, according to court records.

Unger, 53, of the Bronx, hit several vehicles before driving a Dodge sedan over the curb on Morris Park Avenue near Bogart Avenue on the afternoon of October 31, 2015.

Unger crashed into a group of people who were out trick-or-treating, killing 10-year-old Nyanna Aquil; her grandfather, 65-year-old Louis Perez; and Kristian Leka, 24, who pushed others out of Unger’s path.

Aquil’s younger sisters, ages 3 and 8, were injured, as were Leka’s 9-year-old sister and his fiancé, according to the Times and DNAinfo.

Prosecutors say Unger is epileptic and “had not been taking medication as prescribed before the crash,” DNAinfo reported.

Image: WCBS
Image: WCBS

The New York State DMV uses the honor system to identify those with medical conditions that could affect their ability to drive. People who volunteer such information are required to have a doctor submit a form to the DMV for review.

The DMV clearly isn’t doing enough to prevent people who aren’t medically fit to drive from harming people. Drivers who allegedly or admittedly neglected to take medication as required have killed at least six people in NYC in the last two years alone.

The late District Attorney Ken Thompson did not charge a motorist who told police he hadn’t taken his anti-seizure medication before he killed cyclist Alejandro Moran-Marin and injured several others in a crash in Brooklyn last year.

Former Bronx DA Robert Johnson filed murder charges against a green cab driver who allegedly killed two pedestrians, one of them a 4-year-old girl, while off his epilepsy medication in March 2015. That case remains active, according to court records.

Unger pled not guilty and was held on $75,000 bail. His next court appearance is scheduled for November.

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