Hempstead man indicted for fatal DWI crash in Uniondale


Elvin Maradiaga Ortiz was arraigned on charges of manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, leaving the scene of an incident resulting in death, assault, and driving while intoxicated on June 25. He pleaded not guilty and was remanded.

According to the charges, on Feb. 24, Ortiz, 33, of Hempstead, was driving west on Jerusalem Avenue in Uniondale, allegedly while intoxicated. He had two passengers in his vehicle.

He drove off the roadway, hitting a pole and causing the vehicle to flip over, according to Nassau police. The passenger in the back seat, Alex Banegas Figueroa, was left unconscious in the backseat while Ortiz left the scene on foot police said.

Figueroa was taken to Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow and died on March 1.

The second passenger, who was not identified, reportedly suffered head and right should pain, as well as a cut to their head.

During the subsequent police investigation, Ortiz was found to have allegedly consumed multiple alcoholic beverages over many hours at a local bar before the crash. He was arrested on March 21.

He is due back in court on July 18. If he is convicted, he faces up to five to 15 years in prison.

“There is no excuse for drinking and driving,” Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly said in a news release. “It is a decision that can have catastrophic consequences and can cost someone their life.”