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High-speed car chase, deadly crash leads to arrest of former Falcons hoops star

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A former star player for Valley Stream South High School’s basketball team was arrested and charged with manslaughter after an alleged verbal dispute led to a high-speed car chase and deadly crash in Hempstead around midnight on March 19.

According to detectives, 23-year-old Dana King Jr., who led the Falcons to two county championships, was allegedly involved in a shouting match in Valley Stream with another man, after which King Jr. followed the man, who police later identified as 22-year-old Jimmy Hayes of Hempstead, in a 2009 Audi vehicle.

Hayes, who was driving a 2007 BMW with a 25-year-old female passenger, according to police, would later strike a tree while heading northbound on Baldwin Road in Hempstead after King Jr. rear-ended him at high speed. Hayes was pronounced dead at the scene, while the passenger was rushed to a nearby hospital. She is listed as being in critical but stable condition, police said.

King Jr. was arraigned on March 20, and charged with second-degree manslaughter, a felony, which carries a maximum sentence of five to 15 years in prison. Nassau County Judge Martin Massell set King Jr.’s bail at $500,000 bond or $250,000 cash, and issued a temporary order of protection regarding the female crash victim, according to court filings.

“He’s a 23-year-old college student with no prior record,” maintained King Jr.’s attorney, Rockville Centre-based Michael Dergarabedian, and added that his client is a star basketball player for Nassau Community College. He requested that the Nassau County police and District Attorney share any surveillance footage related to the crash with him.

The Nassau County District Attorney’s office declined to comment on an ongoing case.