NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The family of an elderly man who was mowed down by a drunk driver earlier this year in Queens is speaking out.
John Eberling, 76, was struck and killed by a maroon Nissan Pathfinder as he crossed Jamaica Avenue at 80th Street in Woodhaven on Feb. 27.
Driver Viveshdyal Thakoordyal, 46, was arrested and charged with vehicular manslaughter and DWI.
Thakoordyal pleaded guilty and faces up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced Thursday, but in an apparent plea deal, he is expected to get just six months, 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reported.
Eberling’s family is outraged.
“Six months doesn’t sound like trouble,” the victim’s nephew, Ed Eberling, told Sandberg in an exclusive interview. “People pull that kind of time for shoplifting.”
Eberling is expected to stand before a judge and make a passionate plea, demanding the maximum for Thakoordyal who he said has a prior DWI conviction and one public intoxication arrest.
“I think the court needs to look seriously at both the punishment aspect of this and more importantly the message it sends to people who would do the same thing,” Eberling said. “The message we send with a six month sentence is the value of somebody else who hasn’t been killed yet.”
Eberling said his uncle deserves justice.
“This is a man who was born and raised and lived all 76 years of his life in Queens and it doesn’t look like the Queens County District Attorney counts his life for much,” he said.
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