Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney today announced the indictment of Qiulong Chen, 35, who is accused of leaving the scene of a crash that resulted in the death of Joseph Biggica, 59, of Ronkonkoma, and then replacing his vehicle’s broken windshield the next day.
“The defendant not only allegedly left an innocent person to die on the side of the road, but also attempted to cover it up,” said District Attorney Tierney. “My office will continue to hold drivers who hit pedestrians and flee to avoid prosecution accountable, especially those who then make a conscious effort to further impede law enforcement’s investigation. This indictment is the first step in securing justice for the victim’s family, and we will continue to aggressively prosecute this case.”
According to the investigation, on October 25, 2022, at approximately 6:17 p.m., Chen was delivering food while driving his black 2015 Honda CRV in Ronkonkoma when he allegedly struck Biggica, who was walking on Remington Boulevard. Biggica was transported to Stony Brook University Hospital where he later died from injuries sustained as a result of the crash. Law enforcement recovered video surveillance from the scene which captured the crash.
The following morning, Chen allegedly had his car windshield replaced at an auto body shop in Suffolk County. Several days later, detectives recovered Chen’s vehicle, which still had damage to its hood, in the parking lot of his business.
After a joint investigation was conducted by the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office and the Suffolk County Police Department’s Major Case Unit, Chen was indicted for Leaving the Scene of an Incident Without Reporting, a Class D felony, and Tampering with Physical Evidence, a Class E felony. If convicted on the top charge, he faces up to 2-1/3 to 7 years in prison.
On March 2, 2023, Chen was arraigned on the indictment by NYS Court of Claims Judge, the Honorable Richard I. Horowitz, who ordered Chen held on $25,000 cash, $50,000 bond or $250,000 partially secured bond. He is due back in court on March 30, 2023, and is being represented by Kassen Law Firm.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Emma Henry and Jacob DeLauter of the Vehicular Crime Bureau.