Slap on Wrist For Fireman in Fatal Hit-and-Run

April 5, 2012 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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By Zach Campbell
Brooklyn Daily Eagle

BROOKLYN — A Brooklyn firefighter pleaded guilty on Monday to a traffic misdemeanor two years after being indicted on charges of criminally negligent homicide for killing a pedestrian with his SUV while texting and driving.

According to the 2010 indictment, Pat Quagliariello, a firefighter from Midwood, was driving his BMW SUV while texting when he struck and killed Manuel Tzajguachi, a pedestrian who was crossing 65th Street in Bensonhurst. Quagliariello then allegedly went to his firehouse, turning himself in four hours later alongside his brother, Anthony Quagliariello, an NYPD detective. 

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Quagliariello was not given a Breathalyzer or blood test to determine if he had been drinking. According to reports of the event, he admitted to owning the BMW SUV involved but refused further questioning. According to the Daily News, the victim was reported to be crossing the street against the light when he was hit.

Pat Quagliariello was charged with criminally negligent homicide, reckless driving and leaving the scene of a crash. The indictment was publicized in a 2010 press release from the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, and the prosecutor, Craig Esswein, was quoted that year as explicitly calling for jail time for the driver.

On Monday, Quagliariello pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of a crash and was sentenced to community service and three years of probation. Quagliariello will be presenting his case to high school safe-driving classes as part of a program that combines education with testimony from the relatives of victims killed in traffic by reckless drivers, as well as the drivers themselves.

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