By Jonathan Sperling
A Rego Park teen was arrested and charged with manslaughter Wednesday after police and prosecutors said he ran a red light and caused a midday collision that killed a Brooklyn cyclist earlier this month.
Mirza Baig, 18, was not initially charged for speeding through a red light and crashing into an SUV, which flipped and fatally struck a cyclist on the shoulder of the street. The NYPD announced on Wednesday that Baig would be charged with manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, vehicular assault, reckless endangerment, assault, criminal solicitation, criminal facilitation, reckless driving, disobey traffic device, traffic device violation and speed violation.
Graphic dashboard camera footage quickly circulated on social media following the crash, which occurred at the intersection of Coney Island Avenue and Avenue L in Midwood, Brooklyn on Aug. 11.
The cyclist, Jose Alzorriz, 52, was waiting at a red light just before 12:30 p.m. when Baig allegedly drove through a “steady red light,” police said. Baig’s Dodge Charger smashed into a Honda SUV traveling east on Avenue L, forcing the SUV into Alzorriz, as well as a pedestrian.
When 66th Precinct cops arrived on the scene, they found Alzorriz unconscious with body trauma. He was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. Both the 39-year-old driver of the SUV and the 52-year old pedestrian sustained non-fatal injuries.
Alzorriz was the 19th cyclist killed in a vehicle collision in New York City in 2019.
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez’s office is prosecuting the case and said he would continue to investigate “vehicular violence.”
The case, he said, “illustrates the dangers faced by cyclists and pedestrians when drivers choose to recklessly ignore the rules of the road.”
An NYPD officer told the Eagle that Baig was not initially arrested and charged following the collision because “Everything has to be investigated between us [the NYPD] and a district attorney's office.” An investigation is still underway, the officer added.