Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly announced a Valley Stream man was arraigned on charges of Manslaughter and Vehicular Manslaughter for a Father’s Day 2022 drunk-driving crash on the Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway that killed his 23-year-old half-brother.
Joshua Pena, 23, was arraigned Monday before Judge Christopher Hoefenkrieg on charges of Manslaughter in the Second Degree (a C felony); Assault in the Second Degree (a D felony); Vehicular Manslaughter in the Second Degree (a D felony); Driving While Intoxicated (an unclassified misdemeanor); Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree (an A misdemeanor); Reckless Driving (an unclassified misdemeanor); and Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle in the Third Degree (an unclassified misdemeanor). The defendant pleaded not guilty, and bail was set at $100,000 cash, $200,000 bond, or $1,000,000 partially secured bond. He is due back in court on March 1, 2023. Pena faces a maximum of five to 15 years in prison.
“Joshua Pena was allegedly driving more than double the speed limit while intoxicated when he crashed over a guardrail on the Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway and into a tree, pinning his half-brother inside the vehicle with serious injuries,” said DA Donnelly. “Tragically, shortly after being removed from the vehicle by emergency personnel, 23-year-old Xavier Pena succumbed to his injuries. Our thoughts are with the victim’s family as they mourn his loss.”
DA Donnelly said that on June 19, 2022, at approximately 7:45 a.m., an off-duty East Meadow Fire Department official was driving southbound on the Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway towards exit 1E when he saw a white 2018 Mercedes on top of the guardrail, leaning against a tree.
When he approached the vehicle, he saw the victim, 23-year-old Xavier Pena, conscious and pinned inside the vehicle and radioed for help. The defendant, Joshua Pena, who is also the victim’s half-brother, was seen walking near brush west of the vehicle.
NCPD Emergency Services Unit and members of the Wantagh Fire Department assisted in removing the victim from the vehicle. He was transported to Nassau University Medical Center where he was pronounced deceased at 8:43 a.m.
The defendant was also transported to NUMC and allegedly had a blood alcohol content of .17 approximately forty-five minutes after the crash.
The data from the vehicle’s crash data recorder also revealed that shortly before the collision, the defendant was allegedly driving approximately 127 mph.
Joshua Pena’s privilege to operate a motor vehicle in New York was suspended at the time of the crash for failure to answer summonses in Queens County.
The defendant surrendered to the Nassau County Police Department’s Homicide Squad on January 23, 2023.
The case is being prosecuted by Deputy Bureau Chief Stephanie Dellinger of the Vehicular Crimes Bureau. The defendant is represented by Bruce Barket, Esq.
The charges are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.