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Speeding, Unlicensed Driver Who Killed Two Men in Brooklyn Pleads to Leaving the Scene

1:57 PM EDT on September 5, 2017

Video still: NY1

An unlicensed driver who left a trail of destruction in Brooklyn, killing two men, has pled guilty to leaving the scene of the crash.

NYPD said Efrin Lanfranco-Perez was driving “at a high rate of speed” when he hit Delmer Maldonado and Israel Turcios with an Acura sedan on Fulton Street, near Chestnut Street, under the elevated J tracks in Cypress Hills just after midnight on August 1, 2016.

According to prosecutors the impact of the collision sent Maldonado 100 feet through the air, and catapulted Turcios onto the sidewalk. Lanfranco-Perez, who was 21 at the time of the crash, also hit two parked cars before exiting the Acura and running away on foot.

Maldonado, a 41-year-old father of two, died at the scene. Turcios, 56, died at Brookdale Hospital.

"It's the worst car accident I've ever seen in my life," a witness told NY1. "I haven't cried in a lotta years.”

Israel Turcios (l) and Delmer Maldonado. Photos via WABC
Israel Turcios (l) and Delmer Maldonado. Photos via WABC
Israel Turcios (l) and Delmer Maldonado. Photos via WABC

Lanfranco-Perez was arrested hours after the crash. “Police said it was unclear if Lanfranco-Perez was intoxicated when he struck Maldonado and Israel,” DNAinfo reported.

Due to a flaw in state code that Albany lawmakers have for years failed to fix, the penalty for hit-and-run can be less severe than the penalty for intoxicated drivers who remain at the scene of a fatal collision.

According to court records, on August 30 Lanfranco-Perez pled guilty to two counts of leaving the scene -- a class D felony -- and one count of misdemeanor aggravated unlicensed operation. He was not charged for the act of killing two people.

Class D felonies carry penalties ranging from probation to seven years in prison. Since assuming office after the death of Ken Thompson, Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez has shown a willingness to agree to light sentences for hit-and-run killers.

Pursuant to a Gonzalez plea deal, Brian Young got six months in jail and five years probation for killing Francis Perez and fleeing the scene while driving without a license in Sheepshead Bay. Gonzalez consented to probation and a $500 fine for Joseph Zayats, who fatally struck Krystyna Iwanowicz, a disabled 64-year-old who used a walker, then ran from the scene on foot.

Lanfranco-Perez is scheduled to be sentenced in October.

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