FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 24, 2023
Staten Island Man Sentenced to 2 to 6 Years in Prison for Driving Drunk and Causing Crash on Gowanus Expressway That Killed Passenger
Defendant Pleaded Guilty to Manslaughter in December
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a Staten Island man has been sentenced to 2 to 6 years in prison following his guilty plea to second-degree manslaughter for causing a collision with a tractor-trailer while driving drunk on the Gowanus Expressway. The defendant’s front seat passenger was killed in the crash.
District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant’s reckless decision to get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol cost an innocent woman her life and endangered many others. He has now been held accountable for his criminal conduct. I remain committed to keeping Brooklyn’s streets safe for all people.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Mark Dookhan, 32, of Staten Island, New York. He was sentenced today by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Jane Tully to 2 to 6 years in prison. The defendant pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter on December 13, 2022.
The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on March 10, 2021, at approximately 11:20 p.m., the defendant was driving a 2013 BMW 535i west bound on the Gowanus Expressway when he crashed into the rear of a tractor trailer stopped in traffic near the Verrazano Bridge. The defendant’s front seat passenger, Karen Diaz, 30, was killed in the crash.
Furthermore, according to the investigation, the defendant was driving at approximately 75 miles per hour and applied the brakes only a half-second before the crash. The defendant was arrested at approximately 1:15 a.m. on March 11, 2021 and had a blood alcohol level of .12—above the legal limit of .08— when he was treated for minor injuries at NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn.
The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Edward Kerins, of the District Attorney’s Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau (formerly of the Blue Zone Trial Bureau), under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Kin Ng, Blue Zone Bureau Chief.