Drunk Driver Sentenced to Up to 9 Years in Prison for Crash That Fatally Pinned Coworker at South Slope Job Site

Thursday, August 15, 2019


Drunk Driver Sentenced to Up to 9 Years in Prison for Crash
That Fatally Pinned Coworker at South Slope Job Site

Defendant Pleaded Guilty to Manslaughter in the Second Degree

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a 36-year-old Bronx man has been sentenced to three to nine years in prison following his guilty plea to manslaughter for fatally pinning a coworker against a wall while drunkenly trying to park a van at a South Slope job site.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant’s recklessness in drinking and driving took the life of a beloved man who was a husband, a father and a brother. The defendant’s actions changed the lives of his victim’s devastated family forever, leaving them heartbroken. He has now been held accountable for this senseless death.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Leonel Ortega-Flores, 36, of Fordham Heights in the Bronx. He was sentenced today to three to nine years in prison by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Martin Murphy. The defendant pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Matthew Sciarrino on August 1, 2019.

The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on June 30, 2018, at approximately 8:03 p.m., the defendant went to park a 2004 GMC Savannah van after drinking four to five Corona beers with coworkers at a jobsite on 21st Street near 4th Avenue in the South Slope section of Brooklyn. The investigation revealed that the defendant, who was unlicensed, floored the gas pedal, drove the van onto the sidewalk and struck the victim, Jose Cardoso, 32. The crash pinned the victim, who had unlocked and opened a garage gate for the van to enter, between the front of the van and the wall of a warehouse.

The victim was taken to Lutheran Hospital where he died. The defendant fled the scene following the crash, returning to his home in the Bronx where he was arrested later that evening. The defendant identified himself in still photos taken from surveillance video at the scene.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Michael Boykin and Assistant District Attorney Queenie Paniagua, of the District Attorney’s Green Zone Trial Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney James Lin, Bureau Chief, and overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney David Klestzick, Deputy Chief of the Trial Division.