Drag racers indicted for fatal hit-and-run of motorcyclist on Henry Hudson Pkwy: DA

Two men have been charged with manslaughter and other raps for fatally striking a man while drag racing, and leaving the scene, in Harlem on Aug. 3.
File Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

Two men were indicted on manslaughter charges and other raps for allegedly killing a man and fleeing the scene while drag racing on the Henry Hudson Parkway in August, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg announced Tuesday.

In addition to manslaughter, 29-year-old Cary Brown of Brooklyn and 24-year-old Marcos Vega-Pagan of Manhattan are charged with assault, criminally negligent homicide, and leaving the scene in relation to the Aug. 3 death of Joel Quintana, a 42-year-old father of six, on the Henry Hudson Parkway in Harlem.

Brown is further accused of driving without a license, while Vega-Pagan faces charges of insurance fraud and falsifying business records.

“When our highways and streets turn into playgrounds for cars, it leads to tragedy,” Bragg said in a statement. “These defendants displayed extreme recklessness and negligence when they allegedly raced down the Henry Hudson Parkway. Now, Mr. Quintana’s six children and all of his loved ones are mourning his painful loss.”

Bragg alleges that on the night of Aug. 3, Brown and Vega-Pagan were drag racing southbound on the Henry Hudson in a Mercedes and BMW, respectively. They were speeding at up to 90 miles per hour when Vega-Pagan allegedly struck Quintana, who was riding a motorcycle, near 145th Street, knocking him off the motorbike.

Once he landed on the ground, Quintana was allegedly run over by Brown — whose license was suspended — before both drivers sped away from the scene.

EMTs rushed Quintana to Harlem Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The following day, Vega-Pagan allegedly called his insurance company, State Farm, and falsely stated his car was damaged while it was parked. He allegedly submitted an insurance claim for over $3,000.

Quintana lived in Inwood and worked as a manager at the Loews Regency Hotel on the Upper East Side, the Daily News reported. His sister described him as a “hardworking family man” who considered his motorcycle rides therapeutic, according to the Daily News.

Brown was arrested at the end of August and Vega-Pagan was cuffed a little over a week later. If convicted on the manslaughter count, the pair could face up to 15 years in prison.