Brian Friedrichs, 23, was traveling at 120 mph before losing control of vehicle and killing passenger
MINEOLA, N.Y. – Acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced a guilty plea in a case involving a drunk driver who killed his 23-year-old passenger in a crash that occurred at a speed of 120 miles per hour on the Northern State Parkway in July 2014.
Brian Friedrichs, 23, of Levittown, pleaded guilty today to the top charge he faced, Manslaughter in the 2nd Degree (a C felony), before Nassau County Court of Claims Judge Alan Honorof. He also pleaded guilty today to Driving While Intoxicated (an unclassified misdemeanor).
Friedrichs received a sentencing commitment from Judge Honorof of four to 12 years in prison. He is due back in court for sentencing on May 18.
“This defendant’s reckless actions resulted in the senseless death of his passenger, Christopher Gallina. And by driving drunk on a Nassau parkway at 120 mph, it is a miracle that many more lives were not lost,” Acting DA Singas said. “It reminds us how dangerous ‘first time’ DWI offenders can be and demonstrates why Aggravated Vehicular Homicide should be expanded to include grossly reckless drivers like Mr. Friedrichs.”
Acting DA Singas said that on July 22 at approximately 4 a.m., a 2012 Mazda 3 operated by Friedrichs with a 23-year-old passenger crashed while traveling westbound on the Northern State Parkway near the Post Avenue exit. Both Friedrichs and the passenger were ejected from the vehicle after it struck a wall on the shoulder and rolled.
The highest charge he faced was Manslaughter in the 2nd Degree, a C felony with a sentence range between probation and five to 15 years in prison. If the B felony of Aggravated Vehicular Homicide were expanded, Friedrichs would have faced a possible maximum sentence of 8-1/3 to 25 years in prison. Acting DA Singas’ office will be working with our legislative partners over the next few weeks to introduce legislation that adds a new subsection to Aggravated Vehicular Homicide making it a B felony to cause the death of someone while driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and when the driving is so reckless it creates a grave risk of death to others.
The black box contained within the defendant’s vehicle indicated that the vehicle was traveling 120 miles per hour before losing control. Friedrichs was arrested the same day by the New York State Police, with a blood alcohol content of .14%.
Assistant District Attorney Michael Bushwack of Acting DA Singas’ Vehicular Crimes Bureau is prosecuting the case. Friedrichs is represented by Alan Schwartz, Esq.