Reckless driver gets 22 years in prison for stealing box truck, killing 25-year-old

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Courtroom gavel. FILE PHOTO: REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/Illustration

NEW YORK, NY – A Bronx man who stole a box truck from the Metro Mall and killed a 25 year old motorist has been sentenced to 22 years in prison.

Ramon Pena, 39, of Albany Crescent in the Bronx pleaded guilty to manslaughter and second-degree fleeing the scene of a deadly crash.

“The defendant left a trail of destruction that culminated in a deadly collision when a young man was tragically killed as the result of the defendant’s reckless driving. Every individual who gets behind the wheel of a vehicle bears the moral and legal responsibility to do so safely,” said District Attorney Melinda Katz. “The senseless mayhem that the defendant caused is unacceptable. He has now been held accountable for his actions and will serve time in prison as imposed by the Court.”

The incident took place on June 30th, 2020, at around noon. According to police, Pena stole a box truck from 101st Avenue in Jamaica and started driving the vehicle in an unsafe manner through several neighborhoods in Queens and Brooklyn, striking approximately 20 parked and moving cars along the way.

During the trial it was learned that eyewitnesses reported seeing the truck traveling as fast as 50 mph, running red lights and driving on the wrong side of the street.

“At approximately 1:00 P.M, the defendant was observed running a steady red light at the intersection of Rentar Plaza and Metropolitan Avenue and slamming into the driver’s side of a black Honda CR-V, operated by Hamlet Cruz-Gomez. The 25-year-old victim was transported to a local area hospital where he was pronounced dead as the result of the injuries sustained in the collision,” Katz said.

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After shocking a victim, Pena exited the vehicle and ran into a nearby MTA subway station he was quickly apprehended by police once inside.

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