Crime and Courts

Brooklyn Driver Pleads Guilty to 7-Car Pileup Killing Man, 2 Dogs

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A Brooklyn man pleaded guilty this week to causing a 7-car pileup in 2018 that caused the deaths of a 38-year-old man and his two dogs, the Queens district attorney said Friday.

Alex Elicier, 31, pleaded guilty Thursday to aggravated vehicular homicide and other crimes, DA Melinda Katz said in a statement the following day. At the time of the crash, Elicier was speeding and weaving between lanes of traffic on the Van Wyck Expressway around 5 a.m. when he crashed into the back of a car driven by 27-year-old Jasmine Rodriguez.

The crash, according to court documents, forced her car into the center guardrail and over into southbound lanes of traffic before landing upside down. Jairo Castano, 38, was a passenger in Rodriguez's car and was killed when an oncoming driver in the southbound lanes struck the overturned car.

In total, seven vehicles were damaged including a TSA K-9 Unit heading to Kennedy International Airport, Katz said.

The DA says the Bedford-Stuyvesant driver was intoxicated at the time of the crash, evidenced by high levels of THC and alcohol in his blood stream. Surveillance video captured Elicier drinking and smoking at a strip club hours before the crash.

Elicier also pleaded guilty to assault in the second degree, and two counts of overdriving, torturing or injuring an animal, according to Katz. He awaits sentencing from a judge on August 27 and faces between 5 and 15 years in prison.

Attorney information for Alex Elicier was not immediately available.

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