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Men indicted for allegedly killing woman during drunk-driving crash

A pair of drivers were indicted for an alcohol-fueled crash in Brooklyn that left one of their passengers dead, Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson said in a statement Wednesday.

Richard Roman-Santos, 32, and Gerrard Herbert, 32, were both charged in a 26-count indictment for allegedly killing the same woman, 32-year-old Michelle Mignott, just after 4 a.m. on Aug. 17, Thompson said.

Roman-Santos was allegedly driving a Camaro west on Eastern Parkway at about 90 mph when he hit the Nissan Altima, which Herbert was driving. Herbert had allegedly made a left turn onto Troy Avenue in front of the Camaro, splitting his own car in two, Thompson said.

Herbert's passenger, Mignott, was laying down in the backseat at the time and was crushed, dying on her way to the hospital. Another 33-year-old woman, who was seated in the front passenger seat, sustained burns and bruises.

Charges in the indictment included second-degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and operating a motor vehicle under the influence.

If convicted of the top count, the defendants face up to 15 years in prison.

Both drivers appeared to be drunk at the time of the crash, Thompson said.

While Herbert initially refused to take a breathalyzer, his blood alcohol level was tested seven hours later and came back as .07, putting it somewhere between .18 to .20 at the time of the crash, Thompson said. Roman-Santos, who was driving alone, registered a blood alcohol level of .08 at the scene. The legal level for intoxication is .08.

Herber's attorney, Damien Brown, said Herbert was distraught over his friend Mignott's death, but was not breaking the law when he made a left-hand turn.

"Whether or not they were intoxicated was just a part of it," Brown said. "I think it would be hard pressed for anyone to find my client was at fault for simply making a left turn. From a distance ... especially with the lights in your eyes, you cant really see how fast someone is going."

Roman-Santos was held on $35,000 bond and Herbert was held on $30,000 bond, Thompson said in the statement. Both of their licenses were suspended.

Their next court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 17.

An attorney for Roman-Santos did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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