Suffolk D.A.: Garbage truck driver indicted for crash that killed motorist in...

Suffolk D.A.: Garbage truck driver indicted for crash that killed motorist in Hauppauge

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Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney. Photo from Tierney's office

Jaswinder Singh Allegedly Crashed into Multiple Cars Stopped at a Red Light, Killing 24-Year-Old Joseph Kelly

Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney announced on May 3 that Jaswinder Singh, 52, of Bellrose, Queens, was indicted for Criminally Negligent Homicide and other related charges, for allegedly driving a sanitation truck at an unreasonable speed and crashing into multiple vehicles that had been stopped at a red light on the South Service Road of the Long Island Expressway in Hauppauge. The collision caused the death of Joseph Kelly, 24, of West Islip, who was in one of the other vehicles.

“This defendant, who was allegedly driving a 19-ton truck, had a responsibility to drive prudently and cautiously. Instead, he is alleged to have been speeding, causing him to crash into a line of cars stopped at the traffic light, resulting in the loss of Joseph Kelly’s life,” said District Attorney Tierney. “Today’s indictment reflects the solemn duty of law enforcement to hold individuals accountable for their actions, particularly if their alleged crime results in the loss of life.”

According to the investigation, on July 3, 2023, Singh was allegedly driving a sanitation truck from Brooklyn to a commercial establishment in Suffolk County, where it was to be outfitted before being put into service with the New York City Department of Sanitation. At approximately 8:50 a.m., Singh, who was allegedly headed eastbound on the Long Island Expressway, exited at Exit 57 onto Express Drive South in Hauppauge.

Singh allegedly continued to drive on Express Drive South at a high rate of speed that was as he approached a steady red light where cars were stopped. Singh then allegedly failed to slow down or apply the brakes of the truck, causing him to crash into the back of multiple vehicles that had been stopped in front of him, and barrel through the red light at the intersection.

The 38,900-pound garbage truck allegedly first collided with a Honda Civic that was being operated by the victim Kelly, causing a chain reaction of multiple car crashes. Kelly died on impact. The multi car collision involved damage to five vehicles, including a school bus, and left a debris field of approximately 300 feet.

On May 3, 2024, Singh was arraigned on the indictment before Acting Supreme Court Justice Steven A. Pilewski, for the following charges:

  •   One count of Criminally Negligent Homicide, a Class E felony;
  •   Two counts of Assault in the Third Degree, Class A misdemeanors;
  •   One count of Reckless Driving, a Class U misdemeanor; and
  •   One count of Speeding Not Reasonable and Prudent, a traffic infraction.

    Justice Pilewski ordered Singh to surrender his passport, placed him on supervised release and suspended his driver’s license. Singh is due back in court on May 17, 2024, and he is being represented by the Suffolk County Legal Aid Society. If convicted of the top count, the maximum sentence allowable under current New York State law is one and one-third to four years in prison.

    This case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Emma Henry and James McCormack of the Vehicular Crime Bureau, and the investigation was conducted by Detective Marissa DeMeo of the Suffolk County Police Department’s Fourth Squad.