Raj Jadeja was allegedly operating his BMW under the combined influence of alcohol and drugs
MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that a Brooklyn attorney was arraigned on a 12-count grand jury indictment today for a fatal DWI crash that killed a 21-year old driver and severely injured another motorist in September.
Raj Jadeja, 35, of Brooklyn, was arraigned today before Acting Supreme Court Justice Teresa Corrigan on charges of:
• Aggravated Vehicular Homicide (a B felony)• Manslaughter in the 2nd Degree (a C felony)
• Vehicular Manslaughter in the 2nd Degree (a D felony)• Two counts of Assault in the 2nd Degree (a D violent felony)
• Vehicular Assault in the 2nd Degree (an E felony)• Reckless Endangerment in the 2nd Degree (an A misdemeanor)
• Two counts of Operating a Motor Vehicle while Under the Influence of Alcohol (Unclassified Misdemeanors)• Operating a Motor Vehicle while Impaired by Drugs (an unclassified misdemeanor)
• Operating a Motor Vehicle while Impaired by Combined Use of Drugs or of Alcohol and any Drug or Drugs (an unclassified misdemeanor)• Reckless Driving (an unclassified misdemeanor)
The defendant's bail was continued at $500,000 bond or $275,000 cash. The defendant is due back in court on March 23 and faces a maximum of up to 8-1/3 to 25 years in prison if convicted on the top charge. At the defendant’s criminal arraignment in September he was ordered to surrender his passport and his license was suspended. “This defendant is charged with driving under the influence of both alcohol and drugs on the Long Island Expressway and slamming into another car with enough force to push the car’s bumper into the back of the driver’s seat.” DA Singas said. “21-year old George Ragotte was in that car and he was killed in this terribly violent and completely preventable crash.”
DA Singas said that shortly after 2 am on Sept. 19, Paul Castiglione was driving a Mazda eastbound on the Long Island Expressway. His car collided with another vehicle in the vicinity of the entrance ramp from Exit 46 (Sunnyside Blvd.) and Castiglione’s Mazda then crashed into the center median concrete barrier and slid along the barrier before coming to rest.
Shortly after that incident, the defendant, at that same crash scene, allegedly slammed his grey 2012 BMW into the back of a blue BMW driven by 21-year old George Ragotte, of Ronkonkoma, and also crashed into Castiglione, outside of his Mazda.
The rear driver’s side bumper of Ragotte’s vehicle was pushed into the back of the driver’s seat and he was fatally injured. Ragotte was extricated from the vehicle and treated for head trauma at Nassau University Medical Center, and was later pronounced deceased. Castiglione suffered serious physical injuries, including a broken tibia, broken fibula, broken ankle, broken jaw, sprained shoulder, and lacerations.
Jadeja was arrested by members of the Nassau County Police Department.
Assistant District Attorney Michael Bushwack, Deputy Bureau Chief of DA Singas’ Vehicular Crimes Bureau and Assistant District Attorney Christopher Casa are prosecuting the case. Jadeja is represented by Steven Epstein, Esq.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.