A Greenport man entered a guilty plea for killing one person and injuring six others in a motor vehicle crash while driving drunk in July 2018, according to Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini.
The charges against Glenn Zaleski, 36 are one count of aggravated vehicular homicide, a B felony, and aggravated driving while intoxicated, a class E felony. According to Sini, his blood alcohol content was almost three times the legal limit.
“When you get behind the wheel of a car in that state, you turn your vehicle into a potentially deadly weapon,” Sini said. “It’s extremely dangerous and often — as it did with this case — results in tragedies that could have been avoided.”
Zaleski had been driving a 2016 Dodge pickup truck eastbound on Route 48 in Greenport on July 15, 2018, when he lost control of the vehicle and crossed into the westbound lane. His vehicle struck a minivan containing seven occupants, all residents of Flushing, who were returning from visiting Lavender by the Bay in East Marion.
The driver of the minivan, Youfeng Yang, 51, of Flushing, was killed in the crash. Two passengers suffered serious physical injuries and the remaining four passengers suffered various physical injuries.
A blood test after the crash allegedly confirmed Zaleski’s blood alcohol level to be at .23 percent following the crash. Zaleski is expected to be sentenced by Suffolk County Acting Supreme Court Justice Fernando to up to five to 15 years in prison. He is due back in court on August 8. This case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Raymond Varuolo, of the Vehicular Crime Bureau.
In other news, a body was found on June 14 in the water off Grangebel Park Saturday. Area residents have long complained about drug dealing and late-night fights and robberies in the park. Bloggers took to the internet after the news broke to say people have been sleeping on the park benches. One man was seen with a bag of belongings near where the body was found an hour earlier. Riverhead Town Police, called to the scene at about 4:20 confirmed the deceased was a male; his identity has not been revealed.
Two Flanders women, Tonya Minter, 31, and Tamekia Issac, 33, were arrested June 15 and charged with assault. According to a police report, cops responded to a report of a robbery at Qwik Stop Deli on West Main Street shortly after 2:30 PM. A man at the scene, bleeding from facial wounds, told them two women had demanded money, beaten him, and fled the scene. Police identified the suspects and took them in for questioning. Minter was charged with third-degree assault, a misdemeanor. Issac was charged with third-degree assault and petit larceny.