Man Charged for Crash That Critically Injured Williamsburg Woman

NEW YORK -
williamsburg crash
The scene of the crash on DeKalb and Bedford Avenues in Brooklyn, early i the morning of Nov. 30, 2020.

An Upstate New York man has been charged in a November accident that critically injured a Williamsburg mother of six.

Jalen Ryan Ortiz, 22, of Middletown, is accused of speeding and running a red light at the intersection of Dekalb and Bedford Avenues shortly after midnight Nov. 30, when he T-boned a livery cab carrying a 32-year-old woman. The woman suffered a traumatic brain injury, a lacerated spleen, several fractures to her spine and ribs, a broken clavicle, and a subarachnoid hemorrhage, and was hospitalized for two months. She is now home and undergoing therapy.

After crashing into the cab, Ortiz hit a row of parked cars. Ortiz and the cab driver suffered minor injuries.

The Brooklyn District Attorney’s office says blackbox data indicates that Ortiz was traveling 77 mph and the gas pedal was floored one second before the collision, and that video from Ortiz’s dashboard camera shows he was “driving aggressively and at a high rate of speed for several blocks” before the crash.

The DA’s office also says that videos on Ortiz’s Instagram account show him driving the same vehicle at a high rate of speed and performing reckless car tricks in residential streets.

Ortiz was arraigned Tuesday in Brooklyn Supreme Court on charges of second- and third-degree assault, second-degree reckless endangerment, reckless driving, speeding and running a red light. The top charge carries a maximum sentence of seven years in prison. Ortiz’s driver’s license was suspended, and he was ordered to be on supervised release and to return to court April 20.

Brooklyn District Attorney Gonzalez said in a statement, “This defendant chose to drive his car in a highly dangerous and reckless manner, allegedly speeding and ignoring a traffic light, and caused a devastating crash that nearly killed a beloved mother. We believe this was not an aberration – videos he allegedly posted online show him driving the same vehicle in an extremely reckless fashion. We will not allow drivers to treat our roads like racetracks and act with complete disregard for the lives of others. Such behavior is criminal and will be prosecuted in Brooklyn.”

rborchardt@hamodia.com