Williamsburg driver indicted on manslaughter charge for fatal crash that killed his passenger: DA

scene of williamsburg bus crash
Michael Rivera, 31, of Williamsburg, appeared before Justice Herbert Moses on an eight-count indictment on May 21, in connection with a fatal hit-and-run that occurred in February.
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A man was arraigned Tuesday at Brooklyn Supreme Court on manslaughter charges in connection with a deadly Williamsburg crash in which he allegedly struck an MTA bus and fled the scene after one of his passengers was ejected from the backseat.

Michael Rivera, 31, of Williamsburg is also accused of speeding and running multiple red lights prior to the crash on Feb. 26 that left 33-year-old Alex Caba-Gutierrez dead. Rivera appeared before Justice Herbert Moses on an eight-count indictment on May 21.

“As alleged, this defendant’s extreme recklessness behind the wheel cost the life of an innocent person and put many more people in harm’s way,” Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said following the arraignment. “Brooklyn deserves safe streets, and I am committed to holding accountable any driver who endangers our community with this kind of dangerous and criminal conduct.”

According to the DA’s office, on the evening of Feb. 21, Rivera allegedly drove at a speed exceeding 49 mph in a 25 mph zone on Harrison Avenue in South Williamsburg. He purportedly drove an unregistered 2010 red Mercedes Benz, with surveillance footage purportedly capturing him running multiple red lights.

The vehicle slammed into an MTA bus after Rivera allegedly ran a red light at the intersection of Lorimer Street and Harrison Avenue. The force of the collision caused the vehicle to spin out of control and mount the sidewalk, striking a CitiBike rack.

Caba-Gutierrez was thrown from the back seat of the Mercedes and into the street, where first responders would later find him with severe injuries.

According to the DA’s office, surveillance footage allegedly shows Rivera exiting his vehicle and walking up to Caba-Gutierrez where he lay on the sidewalk, before leaving him at the scene.

EMS rushed Caba-Gutierrez to NYC Health+Hospitals/Bellevue, where he was pronounced dead two hours later. It was his 33rd birthday.

The driver of the MTA bus and several passengers were also transferred to the hospital after also suffering multiple injuries.

Rivera was arrested in connection with the fatal hit-and-run on May 1 and charged with second-degree manslaughter, second-degree assault, criminally negligent homicide, leaving the scene of an incident without reporting, second-degree reckless endangerment, reckless driving, excessive speed, and failure to obey traffic control signal.

Justice Moses ordered Rivera to return to court on July 23. If convicted of the top count, he faces up to 15 years in prison.