A Bay Shore man has been arrested and charged in the death of a Commack woman in a crash in which she originally was thought to be the driver.
Jessica Gonzalez, 19 , was killed Sept. 18 in a crash near Exit 40 on the Southern State Parkway in Islip. State Police had initially believed she had been driving a 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe eastbound on the Southern State Parkway, when it crossed the lanes of traffic and struck the center median guiderail. The vehicle then struck the overpass, she was ejected from the vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene.
However, state police now say that Jhonny Chavarria, age 20, was driving but fled the scene after the crash, leaving Gonzalez, his passenger dead at the scene. The crash occurred about 4:30 a.m.
ter a comprehensive investigation into this collision, it was determined that Ms. Gonzalez was not the driver of the vehicle during this crash. The driver of the vehicle has now been identified as Jhonny Chavarria, age 20, of Bay Shore, NY. Mr. Chavarria suffering only minor injuries as a result of the crash, fled the area, leaving his passenger and friend, Ms. Gonzalez dead at the scene.
“Through the investigative efforts of the State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Forensic Identification Unit and Collision Reconstruction Unit, Mr. Chavarria was arrested Wednesday and will now have to answer for his actions,” police said. Chavarria was charged with Manslaughter 2nd (C-Felony), Vehicular Manslaughter 2nd (D-Felony), Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Accident Involving a Fatality (D-Felony), Reckless Endangerment 2nd (A-Misd.), Reckless Driving and DWI (both unclassified Misd.).
Chavarria was arraigned at Suffolk County First District Court and was remanded to Suffolk County Jail in lieu of $500K cash bail or $1 million bond.