Michael Bowen, 50, of Brooklyn, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a 12-count indictment stemming from a fatal collision that killed off-duty police officer Andres Menzies of North Babylon.
Police said Bowen was traveling east on the Northern State Parkway Nov. 15, when, between exit 41, the South Huntington/Dix Hills exit, and exit 42, the Northport/Deer Park exit — he did a U-turn and began traveling west on the eastbound side of the highway.
Police said Bowen nearly collided with two other vehicles before colliding with Menzies. The victim, 35 and the father of five, died at the scene.
"The defendant was so inebriated behind the wheel on the Northern State that he claimed to be on his way to Mount Vernon, telling state police at the accident scene 'I have no idea where I am,'" said Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota. "Tests on the blood drawn from the defendant found his blood-alcohol level to be .26, more than three times New York's legal threshold of .08."
The top count in the indictment is the class "B" felony charge of aggravated vehicular homicide, punishable by a maximum of 25 years in jail. In addition to the other charges relating to the death of Menzies, Bowen is charged with two counts of reckless endangerment in the first degree for his near collision with the other drivers on the road, and one charge of aggravated DWI because his blood-alcohol level exceeded .18 BAC.