Bohemia - (WALK) A Selden man is accused of driving while ability impaired by drugs and causing the death of a Medford man in a five-vehicle crash on Vet's Highway in Bohemia Saturday morning.
At his arraignment Sunday, prosecutors say Paul Porrini, 55, admitted to police he had used heroin Friday night and indicated charges against Porrini may be upgraded to Vehicular homicide.
The victim, Christopher White, 44, was leaving Long Island MacArthur Airport after participating in a motorcycle escort for a group of World War II veterans on their way to Washington D.C., when his bike was struck by a van at the intersection of Johnson Avenue and Veterans Memorial Highway in Bohemia at about 7:15 a.m.
Suffolk Police say the van's driver, Porrini, ran a red light at the Johnson Avenue interection, striking White and three other vehicles. White was taken to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore where he was pronounced dead. Several other drivers were hospitalized and treated for non-life threatening injuries. Porrini (pictured) was arrested at the scene and charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs.
The crash caused police to close Vet's Highway in both directions near the intersection of Johnson Avenue for nearly eight hours Saturday.
Porrini reportedly has a prior conviction for aggravated driving while intoxicated in 2007. He was ordered held Sunday on $500,000 cash bail or $750,000 bond.
White was a graduate of Patchogue-Medford High School, a married father of three young boys, and was known as a long-time supporter of U.S. service veterans, despite not being a veteran himself, according to published accounts.
Visiting for Christopher White will be Tuesday and Wednesday at Ruland Funeral Home in Patchogue, 2- 4 p.m. and 7- 9 p.m. A funeral Mass is scheduled for Thursday at St. Sylvester's Church in Medford at 9:30 a.m.