Child Killed in July Crash Into 7-Eleven; DA Upgrades Charges

Jose Escobar was arraigned on Wednesday on felony charges of aggravated vehicular homicide, manslaughter in the second degree, and DWI under Leandra's Law following a July 19 crash.

Following a car crash in July that sent him, his wife and his daughter careening into the back of a 7-Eleven on Motor Parkway, a Westbury man now faces felony aggravated vehicular homicide, second-degree manslaughter, and DWI charges under Leandra's Law after his 10-month-old daughter died of brain injuries last week.

A prosecutor with the office of District Attorney Thomas Spota said at an arraignment on Wednesday that Jose Escobar, 29, drank a six-pack of Heineken, drove at speeds up to 100 miles per hour, and had a blood alcohol level over three times the legal limit before he

His girlfriend, 27-year-old Maria Guillen, was eight months pregnant at the time with his child, who was saved through an emergency c-section performed at Stony Brook University Medical Center.

On Wednesday, Escobar pleaded not guilty to the upgraded charges, as Suffolk County Judge John Toomey unsealed a thirteen-count indictment. Escobar stands charged with three counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, manslaughter in the second degree, two counts of aggravated DWI with a child, aggravated DWI, two counts of DWI, endangering the welfare of a child, reckless driving, speeding, and failure to stay in a lane of travel.

Judge Toomey set bail at $750,000 bond, or $500,000 cash.

According to Assistant District Attorney Patricia Brosco, Escobar and Guillen were on their way to dinner on July 20, when Escober stopped and picked up a six-pack, all of which he drank on the way to dinner. The two reportedly got into a disagreement in the parking lot about the drinking, Brosco said.

Escobar allegedly sped off with Guillen and their daughter in the car and crashed into the back of a 7-Eleven on the intersection of Motor Parkway and Wicks Road, off Exit 53 on Expressway Drive North.

The couple's daughter, Helen Escobar, was transported to Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York in New Hyde Park following the crash. She died on July 26. 

Escobar stood with his head down in court on Wednesday as his attorney, Hauppauge-based Phil Solages, spoke on his behalf.

Solages said Escobar, a native of El Salvador, remains no flight risk, having family ties to the area, a temporary protected nationalization status, with no track record in the criminal justice system. He has lived in Westbury for the past 12 years, Solages said. Escobar's sister and two others were in court on his behalf.

Solages said following the arraignment that the defendant is "saddened, and trying to cope with the loss of a child."

Brosco requested, and received, a stay-away order for Escobar's newborn daughter, Skyler Grace Escobar, who remains in the custody of Nassau County Child Protective Services. She said the mother, an undocumented alien, is moving to Las Vegas after seriously injuring her ankle in the crash.

Escobar is due back in court on Sept. 14.

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly reported that the crash occurred on July 20.

twocents August 02, 2012 at 09:04 PM
and I know somoene is gonna point out one seeming contrtadiction. when I say I'm sorry for her loss, I know this woman is going to grieve.. it will tear her heart out. when I state that the sympathy being shown is appaling: they act as if this woman was totally innocent. yes, the sympathy is good, but the glossing over of the stupidity of breeding with a loser is attrocious. just to clarify.
brian August 03, 2012 at 06:38 AM
I knoe this man (family member) its a tragic thing 4 all of us . He's a great guy and everything but see what achol does to people
alexis escobar August 03, 2012 at 07:34 PM
yea that guy is family so he still have 2 see his daughter at least cuz he is the father of that daugther i know it said he cant see her but he is father nd every baby needs 2 know there baby son/daughter
marianne krause August 03, 2012 at 08:38 PM
These tales of DWI and arrests are a joke. Alchol use and abuse runs rampant in this country and no one seems to care until a tragedity like this happens then all the wonderful i have never done anything wrong in my life come out and rip these people apart.. For some reason the powers that be have decided that cigarette smokers shouldnt smoke and put millions of dollars into campaigns against it , why not alchol use? there are somethings out there but not as many. Drinking seems to be accepted by many until something like this happens
Nesconset Dude August 03, 2012 at 08:53 PM
The government knows better than to go back to prohibition. Sure, they impose more and more restrictions on cig's, but they will never ban them. So now, just like drinking in public, you can get a fine for smoking in certain areas. Fair enough, especially for those that abhor the odor of cigarette smoke. Also, in all fairness, for the great number of people who consume alcohol in this country, it's truly a very small percentage that do something like this. It's called being responsible, which this person was not. Just like gun owners: most violent gun crimes are committed with illegal weapons, not proper legally registered ones that are treated with respect by their owner. Yet every time someone shoots up a fast food joint or a movie theater, people scream for a ban. It's a free country, and whether it's alcohol or guns, unfortunately there will always be a few bad apples out there. It doesn't mean the rest of us should have yet another oppressive law inflicted upon us.


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