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Reckless Driver Who Killed Man in Middle Village Hit-and-Run Sentenced to Up to 22 Years in Prison: DA

Metropolitan Avenue and Rentar Plaza, where Ramon Pena fatally struck a 25-year-old motorist with a stolen box truck in a hit-and-run. (GMaps)

Sept. 28, 2022 By Christian Murray

A Bronx man was sentenced to up to 22 years in prison for a hit-and-run crash that killed a new father in Middle Village in 2020.

Ramon Pena, 39, was sentenced today after pleading guilty earlier this month to manslaughter in the second degree for a July 30, 2020, collision that killed a 25-year-old motorist who had become a father of a baby girl just a week prior.

“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,” said Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz in a statement. “He has now been held accountable for his actions and will serve time in prison as imposed by the Court.”

Pena, according to the charges, stole a box truck that was parked on 101st Avenue in Jamaica by a delivery driver who left the keys in the ignition.

He then drove the vehicle through various Queens and Brooklyn neighborhoods at speeds of upwards of 50 mph, while blowing red lights and at times going on the wrong side of the road.

Pena hit at least 20 vehicles—most of them parked—along Humboldt and Metropolitan Avenues.

He then ran through a red light at the intersection of Rentar Plaza and Metropolitan Avenue and struck a Honda CR-V as it exited the Metro Mall parking lot.

The car, driven by 25-year-old Hamlet Cruz-Gomez, was T-boned and the entire driver’s side was smashed, according to the charges.

Cruz-Gomez, of the Bronx, was rushed to the hospital and died shortly after, Katz said. No one else was injured as a result of Pena’s escapade.

Pena fled the scene of the collision and ran on foot into the nearby Metropolitan subway station, where police cuffed him.

Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder sentenced Pena to seven and one-third to 22 years in prison.

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