HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – New charges have been filed against a Suffolk County man accused of causing a fatal car crash while high on prescription and illegal drugs.
Thomas Herman of Patchogue is facing charges of second degree murder and aggravated vehicular homicide among a slew of other counts, Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota announced.
Spota announced the 24-count indictment on Thursday.
“He was high on PCP, morphine, Xanax and oxycodone,” Spota told reporters including WCBS 880’s Ginny Kosola. “The amount of oxycodone he took alone would have impaired his ability to drive a car.”
Investigators said Herman, 46, slammed into five cars on Montauk Highway on Jan. 13 before crashing head-on with a car on W. Main Street in Sayville. The driver of the other car, Sam Longo, 82, was killed in the crash and his 79-year-old passenger was critically injured.
Herman faces what Spota called a rare second degree murder by auto charge.
“This case, I believe, is one of those rare instances,” said the DA, adding Herman showed “a depraved indifference to human life,” CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported.
Spota said Herman was driving 80 to 100 miles per hour as he allegedly went on his drug-fueled joy ride.
He had been smoking a PCP laced cigarette while watching playoff football, according to prosecutors. Authorities told CBS 2 that Herman’s first question for police was “who won the football game?”
Herman was initially charged with driving while ability-impaired by drugs and leaving the scene of an incident.
Herman is set to be arraigned on the 24-count indictment on Friday.
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