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An Elmhurst deliveryman died last week after a Long Island City driver suspected of being drunk hit him on the Long Island Expressway service road and then fled the scene, the Queens district attorney’s office said.
Jianqui Chen, a 52-year-old immigrant from China, was riding a motorized scooter on the service road near 39th Street in Long Island City when he was allegedly struck by Richard Contreras, 27, Friday evening, police said.
Chen, who was making a delivery for his Sunnyside employer, Ten Full Kitchen, was pronounced dead at Bellevue Hospital Friday, police said.
Contreras, who was driving a 2004 Ford Explorer, was reported to have fled the accident and was arrested not long after he hit Chen when 108th Precinct police spotted him parked at Greenpoint and Bradley avenues, police said. The Long Island City man has a previous DWI arrest from September, police said.
“I left the scene of an accident,” the Queens district attorney reported Contreras as telling police. “I know I hit someone.”
The driver has been charged with vehicular manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and leaving the scene of an accident, the Queens DA’s office said.
Contreras has had his driver’s license revoked, the Queens DA said.
Chen left China for the United States several years ago and has a son in his home country, the New York Post reported.
“This is tragic,” Chen’s relative, Steven Chen, told the Post. “Right now it’s a trauma for the family. He has a son in China, and they’re trying to find ways for him to come here.”
Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4574.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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