Suspect In L.I.E. Wrong-Way Crash Pleads Not Guilty

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — The Suffolk County man accused in a deadly wrong way crash faced a judge Tuesday.

Juan Cruz, 27, of Deer Park, pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree manslaughter, reckless driving, and driving while intoxicated. Cruz is being held on $150,000 bond or $75,000 cash.

Cruz was Mauricio Visoso Ornelas’ life-long friend and was behind the wheel when he allegedly crashed into a concrete abutment on the Long Island Expressway near Exit 45 going 80 m.p.h.

wrong way crash Suspect In L.I.E. Wrong Way Crash Pleads Not Guilty

A wrong-way crash on the Long Island Expressway killed one person on Monday.

Tomas Sanchez Jr. remembered his brother-in-law as the devoted father of three little girls.

“He was the best father in my eyes, Sanchez Jr. said, oldest one is 10, next one is 6, the other is 5…a big nightmare for them,” Sanchez Jr. told CBS 2’s John Metaxas.

“How he must feel with his guilt that he killed his friends,” Sanchez Jr. asked.

Cruz was first spotted going the wrong way in Suffolk County by Exit 53. Several calls came in to 911 and police said Cruz drove a full 11 miles the wrong way in an HOV lane before crashing.

His preliminary blood alcohol content  measured .19 at the scene – more than double the legal limit.

“His indication was he had no idea where he was going. He said he was going home to Deer Park. Obviously, he missed that exit,” Nassau Detective Sgt. Richard Laursen said.

Cruz said nothing as he was led from police headquarters to court for his arraignment today — leaving his lawyer to do the talking.

“As frequent as these types of cases are, they’re always tragic, They always destroy families,” Cruz’s lawyer John Carman said.

  • junior

    Dont worry just give a beer to him maybe he will remember then what a shame.

  • robby

    i worked with this kid who was killed i know him for 10 years he was the best father and best person ,, not to mention and great worker ,, im gonna miss this kid and so are alot of other people ,, he worked with 15 people who he would spend everyday talking about his lil girls and how much the are growing up ,, so sad

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  • SR

    How about capital punishment. You take a life so you pay with your own. That should be the new law. How many people you think would drink and drive? The laws in place currently are no working and people just don’t care. As cruel as it sounds, that should be the punishment. I am tired of hearing of innocent people who die because of a stupid drunk driver. And for those who would say two wrongs don’t make a right, see if you’ll feel the same way if you lost someone to a drunk driver.

  • Anne Ireland

    Why are people talking about language? The man was blotto! I hope his friend was blotto because at least he wouldn’t have felt terror and pain.
    When will people get it????????? STOP DRINKING AND DRIVING!!!!!!!!!



  • questions

    If he drove in the carpool lane for 11 miles, why didn’t someone call the police?????

  • oldhippie

    thank you Dr. Hirschfield! Well said!!!

  • Barry Hirschfeld PhD

    Make reading English a prerequisite for getting a license! Why make traffic signs more complicated by writing them in two languages? (I hear there a lot of Chinese in the US – should the signs be in Chinese too? How about in Arabic?)

  • Marc Schwartz PhD

    Perhaps if the traffic signs were written in Spanish this tragedy might have been avoided.

    • robby

      did language play apart in that lady who was on the taconic pkway last year or the other family on the saw mill ,, both on the wrong side ,, only the lady was in the day time what is ur answer for her,, stupid,, think be4 u open that mouth ,, wait till ur family has a terrible accident watch what i say to u ,,looser u must feel real proud of ur self . learn to read and understand what u are reading ,, u may know english but have know command of or comprehension of english and what words mean other then just letters stupid ,, moron grow up ,, and i bet ur grandparents or great grandparents are not from this country i bet the ran from the germans now lets say that ur parents could not read that it said gas chamber but they went in any way does that make ur parents stupid or ignorant dont make me continue u dont know what ur getting into ,,

    • concerned father

      perhaps if the guy wasn’t drunk this would’nt have happened,should we have all the traffic signs in different languages so the drunks can read them?????

  • Mike Diaz

    Dimwit!! Hope he goes a way for a long time!!

  • trev

    Not guilty to all those crimes listed; you can’t plead “Ya, ok, some of ’em sure.”

  • angelo

    NOT GUILTY ?…..What is he trying to say…..someone else was driving the car….maybe his lawyer thats trying to prove that he is not guilty was driving !!!!

  • edy

    Why is NY filled with so many low lives

  • Ginar

    Gerald, please look up the word BIGOT

  • Gerald


  • Juan Montoya

    and Israelis are any better? Have you ever driven in Tel Aviv? Avi- you’re an idiot

  • Avi Gold

    Hispanics are the worst drivers. They caused over 90% of auto accidents in NYC and in the USA.

    • mollyd

      You are a bigot and uneducated. Do you have stats to support this?????
      Let me guess, you are a Tea “Party” nut-job.

      The words “race car” spelled backwards still spells “race car”?

      “Eat” is the only word that, if you take the first letter and move it to the last,
      spells its past tense, “ate”?

      Iif you rearrange the letters in “Tea Party Republicans” and add just a few more letters, it spells: “Shut the he** up you misinformed, progress-blocking, benefit-grabbing, resource-sucking, violent, hypocritical d***he bags and deal with the fact that you nearly wrecked the country under Bush and that our President is black so get used to it.”

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