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Driver charged in fatal Greenport crash to consider plea deal, attorney says

04/18/2019 2:16 PM |

A Greenport man facing a 30-count indictment following an alleged drunken driving crash that led to the death of a Queens woman last year wants to accept responsibility and will consider a plea deal, his attorney said after a brief court appearance Thursday in Central Islip.

Glenn Zaleski, 36, is facing up to 25 years in prison on the top charge of aggravated vehicular homicide.

“It’s not a case that we want to take to trial, necessarily,” said attorney Anthony Rutkowski of Southampton. “He wants to accept responsibility and we’re working toward a resolution.”

Suffolk County Judge Fernando Camacho set a plea conference for May 21.

After the judge and attorneys met for a conference Thursday, Judge Camacho said they are still waiting for the results of an accident reconstruction report.

Mr. Rutkowski said there hasn’t been an acceptable plea deal offered by prosecutors at this point and they still need to see the accident reconstruction report.

“It wouldn’t feel right to take any type of plea on a case where he admits recklessness without seeing what the actual accident reconstruction shows,” he said.

Mr. Zaleski pleaded not guilty in December to the upgraded charges following a grand jury indictment. He was not present in the courtroom Thursday.

Mr. Zaleski was driving a 2016 Dodge pick-up truck eastbound on Route 48 near Chapel Lane around 8:30 a.m. July 15 when he crossed over into westbound traffic and struck a minivan with seven occupants, according to police. He was originally charged with driving while intoxicated and suffered only minor injuries in the crash, police said at the time.

Witnesses said Mr. Zaleski swerved to the right of the road and overcorrected, crossing the double yellow line at “a high rate of speed” into the minivan. The force of the collision pushed the minivan off the road, prosecutors said at his initial arraignment in Southold Town Justice Court.

The driver of the van, You Feng Yang, 51, of Flushing was pronounced dead two hours later at Stony Brook University Hospital. Two passengers in the van were also airlifted to Stony Brook for treatment of serious injuries. The other four passengers, all adults from Flushing, were treated at local hospitals for injuries that were not life-threatening, according to police.

A blood test performed taken at the hospital following the crash showed Mr. Zaleski had a blood alcohol content of 0.22 percent, prosecutors said.

He is being held on $100,000 cash bail or $200,000 bond.

Correction: Attorney Anthony Rutkowski’s name was misspelled in an earlier version.

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