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Staten Island Pedestrian Killed – Driver Facing DWI Charges

Katie Chapman3 years ago

A Staten Island man is dead, and another is facing DWI charges following a pedestrian accident in South Beach Sunday night.

Details of the Fatal Pedestrian Accident

“It was the nephew’s birthday party today. They went, had a party, came back, ordered in. They had just finished eating. I left for like 10 minutes and then they were leaving after me.” – Nina Rivera as published by the Staten Island Advance

  • Tragedy struck at 6:55 pm Sunday when James Benedict, 67, of Dongan Hills was fatally struck by a drunken driver.
  • According to the Staten Island Advance, Benedict was walking to his car along the bike lane of Capodanno Boulevard when the crash occurred.
  • A police source alleges Michael Pogorzelski, 39, also of Dongan Hills, was driving a Lexus SVU along Capodanno Hills toward Lily Pond when he struck and bounced off of a parked vehicle and hit Benedict.
  • The crash happened near the home of Benedict’s grand-nephew. The 12-year-old, who was just a few steps ahead of Benedict, witnessed the incident. 
  • Benedict was pronounced dead after being rushed to Staten Island University Hospital, Ocean Breeze.
  • Benedict spent his last day celebrating his grand-nephew's 12th birthday.

Driver Charged in Drunken Driving Accident

Pogorzelski stayed at the scene where he was detained after speaking with NYPD investigators – he has been charged with drunken driving.

The police source said he didn’t even try to make the turn as he approached Lily Pond where he hit Benedict.

According to residents of the two apartment buildings on Capodanno Boulevard, their complexes do not have enough parking spots to accommodate families with multiple vehicles; increasing the danger to pedestrians.

Local neighbors have previously complained about speeding vehicles and traffic accidents along Lily Pond where pedestrians cross the street risking getting struck by drivers. But neighbors say even so, the walk is a necessity due to the parking situation.

According to one local resident, Janine Valentino, if you do not get home by five o’clock in the afternoon, you cannot park at the apartment buildings.

Contact an Experienced Pedestrian Accident Attorney

No one should have to suffer because of someone else's mistake or negligence. Whether your injury was caused by a drunk driver, reckless or negligent driving, or even intentional misconduct, our aggressive and persistent pressure on the driver will give us the information we need to win your case.

At Thomas J. Henry, we dedicate our time and knowledge to your needs. With over 20 years of experience, we have shown each of our clients that we are committed to getting results. Our attorneys are available 24/7 nights and weekends in order to be there when you need us. Choose an attorney who is aggressive, dedicated, and experienced. Contact Thomas J. Henry today. We represent clients/victims all over the country.


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