Drunk Driver Charged with Manslaughter in Fatal Post-Christmas Crash at Manhattan Bridge

Posted on: January 16th, 2018 at 5:13 am by

Prosecutors last week indicted a man on charges of manslaughter for the fatal drunk driving crash last month on the Bowery that left a teenager dead.

In the early morning hours of December 26, authorities said that 22-year-old Gerald Joseph was traveling westbound across the Manhattan Bridge at 65 mph, nearly twice the legal limit (i.e. 35 mph). According to court records, he had been driving his 17-year-old friend Shareef Bellerand from Brooklyn to New Jersey. Once exited from the span, Joseph, who was allegedly driving drunk, lost control of the 2004 Mazda6 and swerved into a fire hydrant at Bowery and Canal. The blunt force of the impact caused the pump to fly across four lanes of traffic on the Bowery, the vehicle to flip over, and catch fire.

Both were trapped in the car for twenty minutes as first responders rushed to extricate them. Bellerand was transported to New York Presbyterian Hospital and pronounced dead upon arrival.

According to a blood test taken hours after the crash, the defendent carried a blood alcohol level of .14. Joseph was arrested later that day.

In a press release last week, District Attorney Cy Vance announced that Joseph was indicted on manslaughter and vehicular manslaughter charges.

“Drunk driving around the holidays claims the lives of far too many victims,” Vance said. “There is simply no excuse for driving drunk, especially in a city like New York, where we have numerous public and private transit alternatives at our disposal.”

Recent Stories

Get Sauced: New ‘Sauce Pizzeria’ Opens this Friday on Rivington Street

From the crumbs of cupcakes rises another – it’s the dawn of a new dough. Indeed, slice slinging Sauce is ready to debut on the Lower East Side, and its adding some new square options to its culinary repertoire. As previously reported, four months after opening a standalone pizza parlor in the East Village, Sauce […]

Argument Leads to Face Slashing at ‘Remedy Diner’

An argument inside Remedy Diner on East Houston Street late last week turned violent when one of the patrons slashed the other across the face. Police say that two men – apparently strangers – were fighting at 4:00am Friday morning. The suspect slashed his 32-year-old victim then took off. Paramedics later transferred the man to […]

‘Tonic Tapes’ Revisits Band Demos from Music Venue

The once-beloved Tonic celebrates its death date this spring, marking twelve years since its demise at the hand of gentrification. Priced out, the music venue closed forever on April 13, 2007 after a performance by John Zorn. (It was Friday the 13th that year.) Being sandwiched between two luxury condo developments – Blue and the […]

Highline Ballroom Loses Lease and will Close Next Month

The Highline Ballroom will close next month after twelve years in the shadow of its namesake elevated park. News of its closure started bubbling up late last week. However, official confirmation from the venue arrived Saturday afternoon. Highline Ballroom will indeed close, as the landlord “decided not to” renew the lease. “For over a year, […]

CB2 Holds Final Hearing Tonight on Haven Green’s Controversial Plans for Elizabeth Street Garden

While Community Board 2 won’t produce a final resolution on the redevelopment of Elizabeth Street Garden until a full-board meeting scheduled for January 24, tonight’s “big meeting” before the Elizabeth Street Garden Working Group committee will offer the community its best chance to weigh in on the controversial Haven Green affordable housing project. This time, CB2 […]