Brooklyn Boro

Driver who crashed on Gowanus while allegedly driving drunk charged with manslaughter

Front passenger died in the crash

May 19, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle Staff

A Staten Island man has been charged with manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter and operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, according to Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez. 

Mark Dookan, 31, was allegedly intoxicated and speeding when he rear-ended a tractor trailer on the Gowanus Expressway. A 30-year-old woman in the front passenger’s seat of his vehicle died in the crash.

Dookan was arraigned Monday by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Dineen Riviezzo on an eight-count indictment in which he is charged with second-degree manslaughter, second-degree vehicular manslaughter, second-degree assault, operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, and related charges. 

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He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of the top count. He remains out on $300,000 bail and was ordered to return to court on July 26, 2021.

According to the investigation, on March 10 around 11:20 p.m., Dookan was allegedly driving a 2013 BMW 535i west bound on the Gowanus Expressway when he crashed into the rear of a tractor-trailer stopped in traffic near the Verrazano Bridge. His front seat passenger, Karen Diaz, 30, died in the crash. 

Hon. Dineen Riviezzo (pictured) will be honored by the Kings County Criminal Bar Association at its annual dinner next month alongside Danielle Eaddy, Siobhan Shea-Gillespie and Stuart Rubin. Eagle file photo by Rob Abruzzese
Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Dineen Riviezzo. Eagle file photo by Rob Abruzzese

Dookan was allegedly driving at approximately 75 miles per hour, and he applied the brakes only a half-second before the crash, the investigation charges. He was arrested at approximately 1:15 a.m. on March 11, 2021 and allegedly had a blood alcohol level of .12—above the legal limit of .08— when he was treated for minor injuries at NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant allegedly made the regrettable decision to get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol. The evidence makes clear that he was in no condition to operate a vehicle, and that his recklessness cost the life of his passenger, a young woman with her whole life ahead of her.”

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Edward Kerins, of the District Attorney’s Blue Zone Trial Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Kin W. Ng, bureau chief.

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