A Whitestone man last Friday posted $10,000 bail following his arraignment on charges of reckless endangerment and operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, among others, after driving the wrong way onto the Long Island Expressway and slamming into a city Department of Sanitation truck that was exiting the highway, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
Salvatore Ferrara, 34, has been charged with first-degree reckless endangerment, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and an infraction of Vehicle Traffic Laws as a result of last Wednesday’s incident.
According to the charges, Sanitation employee Daniel Santiago’s truck was on the Greenpoint Avenue exit ramp of the LIE sometime between 2:30 a.m. and 4 a.m. when a blue 2009 Mercedes Benz being operated by Ferrara traveling in the wrong direction on the exit ramp collided head-on with it.
When police responded to the scene, Brown said, they allegedly observed Ferrara standing near the totaled Mercedes with bloodshot watery eyes, slurred speech, a strong odor of an alcohol beverage on his breath and to be unsteady on his feet. In statements to police, Ferrara allegedly said that he was driving the Mercedes, that he didn’t realize he was on the wrong side of the road and that he had two mixed drinks. Ferrara further allegedly stated to cops that he was driving his car from Manhattan, that he did not remember what time he left Manhattan, that he had a couple of beers between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. and that he took two bumps of cocaine.
Santiago suffered pain to his arm and was transported to an area hospital for treatment. Ferrara was transported to another hospital for chest pain and injury to his ribs. He faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.
Brown said that his office “has zero tolerance when it comes to individuals getting behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.”
By Michael V. Cusenza