Defendant was Allegedly Driving While Impaired by Drugs at Time of Crash that Killed One, Injured Seven Others
Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini announced the unsealing of a 20-count indictment against a man in connection with a motor vehicle crash that occurred on the Long Island Expressway near Shirley on March 31 that left one person dead and seven others injured.
“This was a tragic incident that could have been avoided if not for the reckless actions of the defendant,” District Attorney Sini said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, several of whom are still recovering from their injuries, and the family of the deceased. The Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office will do everything in our power to hold this individual accountable for the pain and suffering he caused.”
Peter Visconti, Jr., 37, of Mastic, was arraigned today on the indictment. He is charged with Aggravated Vehicular Homicide; Manslaughter in the Second Degree; Vehicular Manslaughter in the Second Degree; Aggravated Vehicular Assault; four counts of Assault in the Second Degree; and four counts of Vehicular Assault in the Second Degree, which are all felonies.
He is also charged with three counts of Assault in the Third Degree; Operating a Motor Vehicle While Impaired by Drugs in the First Degree; Reckless Driving; Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree; and Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle in the Third Degree, which are misdemeanor offenses.
At approximately 3:30 pm on March 31, Visconti was driving a 2004 Ford pickup truck westbound on the Long Island Expressway near William Floyd Parkway in Shirley when he struck a 2011 Honda minivan. He was allegedly driving erratically and had veered off the road twice prior to the crash.
Visconti’s truck crossed over the median and onto the eastbound lanes where it struck a motorcycle and a 2013 Toyota minivan. The force of the impact caused the side panel from the minivan to become impaled on Visconti’s truck.
A passenger in the Toyota minivan was pronounced dead at the Long Island Medical Center in East Patchogue following the crash. The other six passengers in the van, who were all visiting from China, were injured in the crash and transported to area hospitals. Three of the passengers suffered serious physical injuries.
The motorcyclist also suffered serious physical injury. The passengers in the Honda minivan did not receive medical treatment.
The defendant was transported to Brookhaven Hospital for treatment of minor injuries. He was interviewed at the hospital by a drug recognition expert from the Suffolk County Police Department who determined Visconti was exhibiting signs of being impaired by a drug. Visconti consented to a blood test, which tested positive for alprazolam (Xanax) and cocaine.
The defendant was also allegedly operating the motor vehicle with a suspended license at the time of the crash.
Bail was set at the arraignment by Suffolk County Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho at $250,000 cash or $500,000 bond. He is due back in court on May 17.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Sean MacDonnell, of the Vehicular Crime Bureau.