District Attorney Hoovler Announces Guilty Plea
In Fatal City of Newburgh Hit and Run
School Bus Driver Admits Striking a Pedestrian with a School Bus and
Leaving the Scene of the Incident Without Reporting
Pedestrian Pronounced Dead at the Scene
Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced that on Monday, June 24, 2019, Deborah Berrios, 52, of Plattekill, pleaded guilty before Orange County Court Judge William L. DeProspo, to one felony count of Leaving the Scene of an Incident Without Reporting. The plea was taken in connection with the death of a pedestrian who was struck by a school bus that Berrios was driving on November 28, 2018, at approximately 5:40 a.m., on Robinson Avenue in the City of Newburgh. At the time that Berrios pleaded guilty, she admitted that she knew that she had struck the man with the school bus and the man had been injured. Berrios admitted leaving the scene and not reporting the incident, leaving the dying man in the roadway. There were no children or other occupants in the bus at the time the collision occurred.
Berrios is next scheduled to appear in court for sentencing on August 26, 2019.
District Attorney Hoovler thanked the City of Newburgh Police Department for their investigation and the arrest of Berrios, the New York State Police Accident Reconstruction Unit for their analysis of the crime scene, and the Town of Newburgh Police Department, who were instrumental in the apprehension of Berrios.
“Not all traffic fatalities are criminal, and this defendant had no criminal liability for the initial striking of the pedestrian,” said District Attorney Hoovler. “However, there was no excuse for not stopping and reporting the incident. Leaving the injured and dying man in the roadway without alerting the police, or calling for help, is criminal conduct for which this defendant must be held accountable.”
The case is being prosecuted by Chief Trial Assistant District Attorney John Geidel.
A criminal charge is merely an allegation that a defendant has committed a violation of the criminal law, and it is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the State of New York’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.