FDNY firefighter indicted on drunk driving, homicide charges in fatal Queens crash

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — A FDNY firefighter was indicted on Wednesday on manslaughter and drunk driving charges in connection with a fatal Queens crash last year.

John DaSilva, 31, of Staten Island, was charged with aggravated vehicular homicide, vehicular manslaughter, manslaughter in the second degree, criminally negligent homicide, assault and misdemeanor aggravated driving while intoxicated.

“Because of the defendant’s alleged recklessness and selfish choices, another driver is dead, and his loved ones left mourning a senseless loss of life. Driving under the influence of alcohol is irresponsible and puts everyone on the road in danger,” said Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

On June 30, 2020, the district attorney says DaSilva was driving a Jeep Grand Cherokee at approximately 64 miles per hour heading eastbound on 35th Avenue toward 95th Street in Jackson Heights around 12:30 a.m.

As DaSilva entered the intersection, Grady Romero-Duarte’s car was completing a left turn onto 35th Avenue from 95th Street and the firefighter slammed into the victim’s 2017 BMW, Katz said.

The force of the impact caused Romero-Duarte’s vehicle to spin counter-clockwise and collide with four other unoccupied vehicles that were parked on 35th Avenue.

DaSilva continued on to strike a fifth parked vehicle, before stopping near the southeast corner of the intersection, according to the DA.

Romero-Duarte suffered significant injuries and was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment but, was later pronounced dead.

DaSilva was also transported to the hospital, where a medical professional secured a blood sample that allegedly showed the firefighter had a blood alcohol level of 0.22 – nearly three times the legal limit.

If convicted, DaSilva faces up to 25 years in prison. He is due back in court on Sept. 30.

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