FDNY firefighter indicted in fatal wrong-way crash on Long Island


RIVERHEAD, LONG ISLAND, NY – A firefighter has been indicted on charges he was driving under the influence in a fatal wrong-way crash on Long Island last year, according to Newsday.

Suffolk County prosecutors announced a nine-count indictment last week against 38-year-old Joseph Norris stemming from the incident on Nov. 20, 2020. According to the charges, Norris was driving his Chevrolet Colorado south in the northbound lane of the Sunken Meadow Parkway near exit SM3A in Smithtown at about 7:30 p.m. when he crashed into a Mazda CX7 SUV.

The Mazda driver, 44-year-old Anthony Mariano of Kings Park, was pronounced dead at the scene. Norris, a Babylon resident, lost both of his legs in the accident.

Prosecutors said Norris’ blood alcohol content was over three times the legal limit, and he allegedly drove drunk for nearly four miles while traveling in the wrong direction. Norris pleaded not guilty to the indictment, which included charges of aggravated vehicular homicide, first-degree vehicular manslaughter, and aggravated driving while intoxicated. Norris, who has spent 15 years as an FDNY firefighter, faces a maximum of 8 1/3 to 25 years in prison if convicted on the top count. He has been suspended without pay from the FDNY.

Mariano taught social studies at Benjamin N. Cardozo High School in Bayside, Queens.

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