FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 9, 2018
Motorist Whose Doctor Allegedly Told Him Not to Drive Because of Medical Condition Indicted for Manslaughter of Father in East Flatbush
Driver Slammed into Pedestrian after Losing Control of Vehicle
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a 41-year-old man has been indicted on manslaughter and other charges for a 2017 fatal crash that took place after his leg allegedly locked on the gas pedal of his car due to a pre-existing medical condition, causing him to lose control of the car at a high rate of speed.
District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This was a preventable death that could have been avoided if the defendant had listened to his own doctor’s advice, instead he got behind the wheel and now an innocent father is dead. Following a thorough investigation, we will now seek to hold him accountable because I am determined to keep our streets safe for all pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Mark Antoine, 41, of Brooklyn. He was arraigned yesterday before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice William Miller on an indictment in which he is charged with second-degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, reckless driving and speeding. He was ordered held on $50,000 bail and to return to court on February 14, 2018. The defendant faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of the top charge.
The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on January 9, 2017, at approximately 5:20 p.m., the defendant was behind the wheel of a 2004 Nissan Pathfinder in the vicinity of Avenue A and Remsen Avenue in East Flatbush, when his leg allegedly stiffened due to a medical condition and became locked on the gas pedal. He lost control of the car at a high rate of speed and had multiple accidents involving six other cars and struck and killed a pedestrian, Marlon Palacios, at Avenue A and Linden Boulevard. The incident occurred over two blocks, with the vehicle’s speed accelerating throughout, and alleged to be at least 60 mph when Palacios was struck.
Following an investigation, it was revealed that Antoine had been diagnosed and was being treated for multiple sclerosis, and that prior to the incident his physician told him that he should not drive due to his medical condition.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Nocella, Deputy Chief of the District Attorney’s Vehicular Crimes Unit, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Craig Esswein, Chief of the Vehicular Crimes Unit, and the overall supervision of Assistant District Attorney Joseph Alexis, Chief of the Trial Division.
An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.