Darien man arrested for manslaughter on Long Island after December crash
A Darien man has been indicted on Long Island for allegedly causing the death of a husband and wife in what authorities described as a "catastrophic" motor vehicle crash, then fleeing the scene.
Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini announced 12-count indictment against a Patrick Poillon, 24, of Darien on Monday, Jan. 7.
At approximately 10:11 p.m. on Dec. 22, Poillon was allegedly driving a 2006 Ford Explorer southbound on Huguenot Drive in Mastic Beach when he drove through a stop sign and struck a 2004 Subaru Legacy traveling east on Forest Road West. Poillon allegedly fled the scene of the crash on foot, leaving the Explorer and a passenger at the scene.
The two passengers in the Subaru, William Molnar, 50, and Jean Molnar, 41, both of Mastic Beach, were pronounced dead at the scene by a physician assistant from the Office of the Suffolk County Medical Examiner. According to a Facebook memorial page, the Molnars left behind three children and two grandchildren.
Poillon is charged with two counts of second-degree manslaughter, two counts of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death, and tampering with physical evidence, all felonies in New York; second-degree reckless endangerment, third-degree assault, leaving the scene of an incident without reporting, and aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle in the third degree, all misdemeanors; and speeding and failure to stop at a stop sign, which are both traffic infractions.
"The defendant was allegedly driving more than twice the legal speed limit and blowing through stop signs in a residential neighborhood at the time of this horrific crash," District Attorney Sini said in a press release. "Because of his reckless actions, a husband and wife were killed just days before Christmas."
On Tuesday, Brendan Ahern, chief of Suffolk's Vehicular Crime Bureau, told The Darien Times Poillon was allegedly driving in a "grossly dangerous fashion."
"Two days before Christmas Eve, he was out with his friends driving through these very small residential roadways," Ahern said.
"He was blowing through every single stop sign," Ahern said.
Ahern said the couple was "killed instantly" in the "catastrophic crash."
A 22-year-old male passenger in the front seat of Poillon's Explorer was transported by Suffolk County Police helicopter to Stony Brook University Hospital for treatment of injuries.
Ahern told The Darien Times that Poillon allegedly admitted his involvement in the crash to those at the residence he had come from and returned to.
Following an investigation by Suffolk County Police Major Case Unit detectives, Poillon was arrested at a relative's residence in Mastic Beach at approximately 3:37 a.m. on Dec. 23, 2018.
Poillon was allegedly driving at approximately 68 mph at the time of the crash, which occurred in a 30 mph zone. Poillon was also allegedly holding a "Natty Daddy," which is a 25-ounce can of Natural Light beer, while driving.
Poillon also has criminal charges pending in Brattleboro, Vt., from an incident that occurred in August 2016 in which Poillon and a co-defendant allegedly assaulted a man in a supermarket and stole alcohol from him. The charges also include a hate-motivated aggravated disorderly conduct charge for allegedly attacking an African-American woman during the incident and calling her a racial slur. Poillon pleaded not guilty to those charges.
In August 2016, The Brattleboro Reformer reported a man told Brattleboro Police he was purchasing two alcoholic beverages in a store on Elliot Street when a man fitting the description of Poillon began punching and kicking him.
A black woman who drove up to the scene "stopped her car because of the subjects blocking the roadway," police said. Poillon called her a racial slur after she exited her car and started picking up glass from the road using a handkerchief.
"I'll (expletive) fight you, I'll (expletive) kill you!" Poillon said, according to an affidavit, before assaulting the female victim, the Reformer reported.
The Reformer reported Poillon fled the scene, but was later arrested hiding in a bedroom closet at a private residence. The Reformer also reported that an officer from the Dover Police Department contacted Brattleboro police during their investigation of the incident, identifying Poillon as a person who had bitten him in a previous incident.
On Monday, Jan. 7, Poillon was arraigned on the indictment in front of Suffolk County Acting Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho. Bail was set at $1 million cash or $5 million bond and his license was suspended. He is due back in court on Feb. 4.
Sini told The Darien Times Tuesday Poillon is still in custody and due to the bond amount it is expected he will remain in custody. He said the bond amount requested takes into account Poillon's alleged previous criminal history.
If convicted of the top count, Poillon faces a maximum sentence of five to 15 years in prison.
Sini said the next steps will include the discovery process and "invariably some sort of conversation to dispose of the charges" via plea negotiations, which will also take previous charges into account.
The Mastic Beach case is being prosecuted by assistant district attorneys Jacob DeLauter and Maggie Bopp, of the Vehicular Crime Bureau.
It is unclear where Poillon lives or has lived in Darien, or when. Ahern said Poillon's relative has a home in Mastic Beach.
Despite possible plea discussions, Sini said, "We are prepared to try this case."
"However, we always do consider a just result prior to trial," he said.
Timothy Sini is the cousin of Planning & Zoning Commission chairman John Sini.