Joseph Norris, 40, of Babylon, faces multiple charges, including aggravated vehicular homicide, in the November 2020 death of Anthony Mariano at Suffolk County Court on Tuesday 23 May crime.
New York City off-duty firefighter Norris had a blood alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit while driving his Chevrolet pickup truck on the night of Nov. 20, 2020, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office.
He ended up on the Sunken Meadow Parkway, driving south on the northbound lanes for nearly four miles before hitting Mariano’s vehicle head-on, prosecutors said.
Mariano, 44, a Kings Park resident who taught history at Benjamin N. Cardoso High School in Bayside, Queens, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Norris was taken to Southside Hospital in the Gulf Shores, where doctors were forced to amputate both of his legs, according to prosecutors.
Toxicology results showed his blood alcohol level was 0.29%.
“This tragic event claimed the life of a beloved Suffolk school teacher. We realize that no sentence here will allow Mr Mariano to return to his family and pupils, a fact that makes us Saddened,” Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond Tierney said in a statement.
Tierney added that the case should serve as a reminder to drivers to stay safe on the roads heading into the busy summer driving season.
“I urge everyone to use good judgment before driving, as doing so helps keep our roads, other drivers and pedestrians safe,” he said.
In court on Tuesday, Norris admitted the following charges:
Aggravated vehicular homicide (felony)
Second degree manslaughter (felony)
DUI aggravated driving (misdemeanor)
He will return to court for sentencing on Wednesday, July 19.
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