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Driver in fatal crash in Peconic to face upgraded charge of aggravated vehicular homicide

The driver in an August fatal crash in Peconic will now be facing a top charge of aggravated vehicular homicide, according to online court records.

Kyle Flanagan, 22, who was seriously injured in the crash that claimed the life of his close friend, is scheduled to be arraigned Monday on the upgraded charges. He had originally been charged with misdemeanor driving while intoxicated and had pleaded not guilty in Southold Town Justice Court in September.

He now faces additional felony charges of second-degree manslaughter, first-degree vehicular assault and second-degree assault, as well as several misdemeanors for driving while intoxicated, the records show.

Mr. Flanagan allegedly had a blood alcohol content of 0.20%, more than twice the legal limit, prosecutors said during the September arraignment. The top charge reflects a case where the driver allegedly had a BAC of .18% or more.

A spokesperson for the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office said the arraignment Monday will be before Judge Richard Ambro in Riverside. The DA’s office declined comment on the case since the arraignment had not yet taken place.

Mr. Flanagan was driving a 2019 Ford Ranger pickup on Wells Avenue just before dawn on Aug. 20 when the vehicle left the road and struck a tree near where the road begins to curve. Brian Clinton, 22, was seated in the rear of the vehicle and later died from injuries sustained in the crash.

Following the crash, investigators obtained a search warrant to collect a blood sample that came back as 0.20%. A second sample was drawn after Mr. Flanagan underwent surgery at Stony Brook University Hospital, which showed a BAC of 0.15% — still above the legal limit, the DA’s office confirmed after the initial arraignment.

Another passenger, 22-year-old Malcolm Pakola of Irvington, N.Y., was also seriously injured.

Mr. Flanagan’s family owns a home on Wells Road and police previously said the men had just left the home to find a better vantage point to watch the sunrise. The family had moved full-time to the Peconic home after previously living in Tarrytown, N.Y., near where the three friends involved in the crash attended high school together.

At the September arraignment, attorney John LoTurco of Huntington said Mr. Flanagan sustained multiple fractures in his torso, a broken scapula, a lacerated spleen, multiple fractures of his right femur and a collapsed lung.