Staten Island man sentenced for drunk driving crash that killed passenger


STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK – A man has been sentenced to prison for causing a fatal drunk driving accident in Brooklyn in 2021, prosecutors said.

According to a news release from Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, 32-year-old Mark Dookhan of Staten Island was sentenced to two to six years behind bars following his guilty plea last month to second-degree manslaughter.

The crash happened on March 10, 2021 at about 11:20 p.m. on the Gowanus Expressway.  Authorities said Dookhan was driving a 2013 BMW 535i west bound when he crashed into the rear of a tractor trailer stopped in traffic near the Verrazano Bridge. A front seat passenger in the BMW, 30-year-old Karen Diaz, was killed in the wreck.

Investigators determined Dookhan had a blood alcohol level of .12, above the legal limit, when he was treated for minor injuries at NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn.

“This defendant’s reckless decision to get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol cost an innocent woman her life and endangered many others,” Gonzalez said in a statement. “He has now been held accountable for his criminal conduct.”

The investigation showed that Dookhan was driving at approximately 75 miles per hour and applied the brakes only a half-second before the crash.

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