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(Photo via; New York Police)

OAN’s Abril Elfi
1:14 PM – Saturday, July 6, 2024

The alleged drunk driver who is accused of killing three people and injuring eight others after running them over has been ordered to be held without bail and faces 25 years or more in prison.

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On Saturday, Daniel Christopher Hyden was ordered to be held without bail after it was revealed that he was driving with a suspended license and had tried to avoid sobriety tests following the fatal crash. 

The 44-year-old suspect, who is a substance abuse counselor that wrote a book called “The Sober Addict,” knew his license was suspended when he got behind the wheel on Thursday night. 

Authorities said in a criminal complaint that records indicated Hyden’s license had been suspended four times and had not been reinstated since he had neglected to respond to summonses. What tickets Hayden disregarded are unknown.

According to the criminal complaint, Hyden had told police that he “had a few alcoholic drinks.”

Authorities noted that Hyden refused breathalyzer tests following the collision and reportedly kept his eyes closed so no one could see his bloodshot eyes, although lab results regarding his blood alcohol content are still pending.

“He even went so far as to close his eyes so that they could not test that,” Bogdanos told Judge Robert Mandelbaum. “And your honor, in a moment you’re going to see how it is that the defendant knew so much about sobriety tests.”

“Soon enough, we’ll know exactly how drunk he was,” Bogdanos added while recounting Hyden’s lengthy rap sheet, which includes multiple convictions in Georgia, Wisconsin, and New Jersey on charges ranging from driving with a suspended license to DWI to assault and criminal mischief.

“As for the defendant’s record and how he knows what to avoid in terms of field sobriety tests, if he’s lived in that state, he has a conviction for a suspended license,” Bogdanos contended.

Then, Bogdanos displayed pictures of the chaos at the intersection of Jackson Street and Water Street. There, police said, Hyden is suspected of crashing his gray Ford F-150 into the park’s celebration of the holiday and into a crowd before the fireworks started.

“That damage is from striking 11 human beings,” Bogdanos said, adding, “So far, there’s three dead, Judge. One is still in critical condition, and seven others were treated at the hospital—at four different hospitals. He struck so many people that it required four hospitals to treat all of them.

In his book, Hyden portrayed himself as a well-intentioned drug abuse counselor and a role model for those who are battling addiction.

Law enforcement sources said that police believe Hyden got into a brawl with a bouncer at a downtown bar on Thursday night after being turned away for being too drunk.

About an hour before the fatal collision at neighboring Corlears Hook Park, the bouncer granted him a refund for the Fourth of July party ticket and sent him on his way, according to the sources.

Just prior to the collision, surveillance footage showed the truck speeding down the street without showing any signs of stopping at the intersection.

Ana Morel, 43, and Lucille Pinkney, 59, who lived together close to the crash scene, as well as her 38-year-old son Herman Pinkney, perished in the collision.

Herman’s longtime partner Jessica Pellot and her 11-year-old son Jakob Velazquez were among the other eight injured. According to family members, Jakob was “traumatized” by the loss of his father figure.

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