Drunk driver sentenced for fatally striking man in Greenwood Heights

Leonel Ortega-Flores, 36, was sentenced to three to nine years for second-degree manslaughter after he drunkenly smashed crashed a van, killing his coworker.
Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office

A Bronx man will spend at least three years behind bars for fleeing the scene of a deadly, drunken car crash in Greenwood Heights last year.

Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Martin Murphy slapped Leonel Ortega-Flores, 36, with a three- to nine-year prison sentence Thursday after he plead guilty earlier this month to second-degree manslaughter, according to Brooklyn’s top prosecutor, who claims the defendant got exactly what he deserved.

“The defendant’s actions changed the lives of his victim’s devastated family forever,” said Eric Gonzalez. “He has now been held accountable for this senseless death.”

After knocking back some beers at a construction site near 21st Street and Fourth Avenue on June 30 last year, Ortega-Flores was attempting to pull a 2004 GMC Savana van off the street and into an open garage, when he floored the gas pedal, and smashed into 32-year-old colleague Jose Cardoso, pinning him between the van and the side of a building, according to prosecutors.

First responders rushed Cardoso to Lutheran Hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead, authorities said.

Ortega-Flores fled the scene before authorities arrived, hiding out at his home in the Bronx until police arrived and arrested him later that evening, and the suspect later implicated himself in the crime, according to Gonzalez’s office.

Reach reporter Aidan Graham at agraham@schnepsmedia.com or by calling (718) 260–4577. Follow him at twitter.com/aidangraham95.

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