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

Unprovoked Stabbing on Worth Street has Chinatown on Edge

In an apparently random attack yesterday evening, a 36-year-old Chinese man was stabbed in the back, and severely injured, by Brooklyn resident Salman Muflihi. The attacker wielded an eight-inch knife in the incident outside the Daniel Patrick Moynihan U.S. Courthouse on Worth Street, then surrendered at the entrance of the Manhattan DA’s office on Hogan Place. […]

Uncapped: In Conversation with Clayton Patterson and Cochise

Oh hey, Boogie Faithful, it’s your favorite historian here announcing our new graf-related podcast. We’ve done a few episodes, literally, and for the latest, Clayton Patterson has come out of his Boogie corner. We chatted, we laughed, we discussed some esoteric, anecdotal and priceless Lower East Side history. Local native and artist Jose “Cochise” Quiles also […]

Jing Fong Waiters Urge Landlord to Reinstate Dining Room

Chinatown shook to its core last weekend upon news that Jing Fong is closing down its massive dining room next week (March 7). The restaurant will continue operating as a ghost kitchen to fulfill orders for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining on its patio. They’re reportedly on a month-to-month lease. “With our drastic decline in […]

Small Business Owners ‘Permanently Close’ to Demand COVID Relief

Local small business groups, along with the Cooper Square Committee, East Village Community Coalition, and Village Preservation are hosting a rally today in the name of economic survival. It’s part of a statewide week of activism to find commercial rent relief in the city. With that, businesses who fear forever closure due to rent burdens […]

Fired Laundry Workers Accuse Liox Cleaners of ‘Union Busting’

The Liox Cleaners chain is facing a raft of opposition in the wake of alleged “union busting.” Tuesday afternoon saw the first of two picketing actions outside the Allen Street location, just north of Delancey. According to the distributed literature, “On February 19, the Liox laundry chain fired the immigrant woman workers of the Wash […]