Jhonny Chavarria-Argueta, of Bay Shore, was jailed for between four and 12 years at Suffolk County Court on Thursday 1 June.

He previously pleaded guilty to manslaughter and other charges of 19-year-old Jessica Gonzalez of Commack in September 2022.

According to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, Chavarria-Argueta was intoxicated while driving a rental Hyundai Santa Fe in the early morning hours of Sept. 18, 2022.

Prosecutors said he lost control and crashed into the center barrier while traveling eastbound on the Southern State Parkway near the Robert Moses Causeway at around 4:20 a.m.

The impact sent the vehicle rolling several times before it finally came to a stop against the front end on the causeway overpass.

Gonzalez, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, was thrown from the vehicle and died of his injuries.

Instead of offering assistance, Chavarria-Argueta got out of the car and fled the scene on foot, prosecutors said.

Investigators later obtained a search warrant to retrieve the vehicle’s black box, which showed he had been traveling at 120 mph in the moments before the crash.

“The defendant’s complete and utter carelessness cost Jessica Gonzalez her life,” Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond Tierney said in a statement.

“Had the defendant not thought of himself after the crash and had offered Jessica help, the victim may have had a chance of survival,” he continued.

“While justice is no substitute for human life, this incarceration will hold defendants accountable for their actions.”

On April 20, Chavarria-Argueta pleaded guilty to the following charges:

  • Second degree manslaughter (felony)
  • Second-degree vehicular manslaughter (felony)
  • Leaving the scene of an accident without authorization (felony)
  • DUI (misdemeanor)

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