Peconic man arraigned on vehicular homicide charge, released after posting $25K bail

A Peconic man investigators say was responsible for a fatal crash in August was arraigned Monday morning on two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, along with several other upgraded charges in the indictment.

Kyle Flanagan, 22, was allegedly intoxicated when he crashed a 2019 Ford Ranger into a tree on Wells Road in Peconic, killing a lifelong friend seated in the backseat.

“This defendant’s dangerous and deadly actions allegedly caused the untimely death of a young man who was just beginning his adult life,” district attorney Raymond Tierney said in a statement. “This should have been a time of great joy for these young men. Instead, a weekend that was supposed to be fun ended in tragedy.”

Mr. Flanagan faces two counts of aggravated vehicular assault and one count of second-degree manslaughter. He also faces two counts of second-degree assault, all of which are felonies. He faces additional misdemeanor charges of aggravated driving while intoxicated, DWI, driving while ability impaired by drugs and reckless driving.

He was arraigned on the upgraded charges before Judge Richard Ambro in Suffolk County Court in Riverside. Mr. Flanagan posted the $25,000 bail. His license was also suspended.

Mr. Flanagan had initially been arraigned in Southold Town Justice Court on a misdemeanor DWI charge in September.

Mr. Flanagan had allegedly been drinking all night when he got behind the wheel of the Ford Ranger at about 5:49 a.m. on Aug. 20. He was driving south on Wells Road and drove off the road onto a lawn, crashing into a tree. He was allegedly driving 47 mph in a 30 mph zone, the prosecutor said Monday.

A front-seat passenger, Malcolm Pakola, 22, was seriously injured in the crash. Brian Clinton, 22, was extricated from the vehicle by emergency responders and transported to Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Mr. Pakola was transported via ambulance to Peconic Bay Medical Center and underwent surgery for a right femur fracture, the DA said.

Investigators say Mr. Flanagan was found slumped over the steering wheel in a semiconscious state with an odor of alcohol on his breath. He was extricated from the vehicle and airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital.

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 the hospital, which showed a BAC of 0.15% — still above the legal limit, the DA’s office confirmed after the initial arraignment.

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.

On Monday, Mr. LoTurco told the judge that his client was not a flight risk, and has several members of his family who are in the military.

At the September arraignment, Mr. LoTurco said the Clinton family did not wish for Mr. Flanagan to face prosecution. Southold Town Justice Eileen Powers emphasized that the family does not decide whether Mr. Flanagan is prosecuted, citing the “serious crime.”

Mr. LoTurco declined comment after Monday’s arraignment.

The DA said the three friends were visiting Peconic for the weekend. Mr. Flanagan’s family owns a home on Wells Road and police previously said the men had just left the house 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 attended high school together.

Mr. Flanagan is due back in court Jan. 17.