A Queens man was arraigned on two charges on Thursday, Feb. 9, including driving under the influence of alcohol, which led to the death of an 89-year-old man while crossing a intersection in Astoria last week.
Demitrios Matsoukatidis, 67, of 24-33 23rd Street in Astoria, was allegedly driving a black 1998 Mercedes SUV on 21st Avenue in Astoria when he hit Aldama Lizardo, who was crossing the street at the intersection of 21st Avenue and 31st Street on Feb. 7.
Police who responded to the scene reported they saw damage on the hood and grill of Matsoukatidis’ car and that he had bloodshot eyes and an odor of alcohol on his breath. A breathalyzer test on Matsoukatidis allegedly revealed a blood alcohol content of 1.6 percent, which is above the legal limit of .08 percent in New York. Lizardo had severe head trauma as a result of the crash and was taken to a local hospital, where he passed away.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said that this incident shows what can happen when someone gets behind the wheel after drinking alcohol.
“The defendant is accused of getting behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol and being involved in a traffic accident in which a pedestrian was struck and killed,” Brown said. “By his alleged actions, the defendant illustrated the lethal consequences resulting from driving while intoxicated.”
Matsoukatidis was charged with one count of second-degree vehicular manslaughter and two counts of operating a motor vehicle while under the alcohol or drugs. Matsoukatidis was ordered to be held on $50,000 bail and will return to court on Feb. 28. If convicted, he faces up to seven years in prison.