Drunk driver gets 2 to 6 years in prison for fatal crash on Gowanus Expressway

NEW YORK, NY – A Staten Island man responsible for the death of a passenger while driving drunk on the Gowanus Expressway on March 11, 2021, has been sentenced to prison after being convicted last month.

Karen Diaz, 30, was killed when Mark Dookhan, 32, rear-ended a tractor-trailer.

“This defendant’s reckless decision to get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol cost an innocent woman her life and endangered many others,” Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said after the sentencing. “He has now been held accountable for his criminal conduct. I remain committed to keeping Brooklyn’s streets safe for all people.”

The District Attorney said, “According to the investigation, on March 10, 2021, at approximately 11:20 p.m., the defendant was driving a 2013 BMW 535i westbound on the Gowanus Expressway when he crashed into the rear of a tractor-trailer stopped in traffic near the Verrazano Bridge.”

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Diaz was sitting in the front passenger seat of the car. Police determined Dookhan was seeing in excess of 75 miles per hour and did not brake until a half-second before impact. He had a blood alcohol level of .12, over the legal limit of .08.