Driver charged with manslaughter in chain-reaction Brooklyn crash that killed cyclist

MIDWOOD, Brooklyn (WABC) -- The driver who allegedly ran a red light in Brooklyn and caused a chain reaction crash that led to the death of a bicyclist is now facing a slew of charges, including manslaughter.

Police say 18-year-old Umar Mirza Baig and was traveling on Coney Island Avenue in Midwood when he sped through a red light and then was T-boned by a car traveling on Avenue L.

The vehicles both spun out after the crash, and the other vehicle involved hit 52-year-old bicyclist Jose Alzorriz, of Park Slope. One of the vehicles also then jumped a sidewalk and crashed into a building.

Alzorriz, who was stopped at the light, was thrown off his bike and became pinned between a brick wall and the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at Coney Island Hospital.

The driver of the other vehicle sustained internal bleeding and spine trauma.

Authorities say the evidence shows Baig was traveling at approximately 61 mph in a 25 mph zone at the time of the impact.

The incident was the 19th bicyclist death in the city this year.

Baig is now charged in a 17-count indictment with manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, vehicular assault, reckless endangerment, assault, criminal solicitation, criminal facilitation, reckless driving, disobey traffic device, traffic device violation and speeding.

"This tragic case illustrates the dangers faced by cyclists and pedestrians when drivers choose to recklessly ignore the rules of the road," District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said, "I urge all motorists to obey the speed limit, follow all traffic laws and yield the right of way to those who share our streets. If they don't, they might take a life in an instant - and face serious criminal charges. I am committed to doing my part to promote safety and will continue to investigate cases of vehicular violence and bring criminal charges whenever they are supported by the facts and the law."

Bail was set at $50,000 bond or $10,000 cash, and the defendant was ordered to return to court on October 23.

"That was a tragic accident," Baig's attorney said after the arraignment. "It's tragic that someone died, but it was an accident, 100 percent."

He faces a maximum sentence of five to 15 years in prison if convicted of the top count.

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