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Hit-and-Run Driver Who Killed 25-Year-Old Man in Middle Village Arrested for Manslaughter

Intersection of Metropolitan Avenue and Rentar Plaza (Google Maps)

July 1, 2020 By Michael Dorgan

A hit-and-run driver who fled the scene of a fatal crash in Middle Village Wednesday has been arrested for manslaughter and other charges.

Ramon Pena, 37, drove a stolen 2006 Isuzu box truck and crashed into another vehicle just before 1 p.m. Wednesday at the intersection of Metropolitan Avenue and Rentar Plaza. The collision killed Hamlet Cruz-Gomez, 25, who was driving a 2019 Honda CRV.

Pena, who police say is homeless, then fled the scene on foot and was chased by police. He was arrested inside the Metropolitan Avenue M subway station a short time later. The station is about 200 feet away from the scene of the incident.

A preliminary police investigation found that Pena was traveling eastbound on Metropolitan Avenue. He struck Cruz-Gomez who was making a left turn from Rentar Plaza onto Metropolitan Avenue.

The box truck hit off several occupied vehicles along Metropolitan Avenue before it approached and collided with the Honda, police said. The truck had sideswiped a vehicle further back on Humboldt Ave., according to the New York Daily News.

Cruz-Gomez, who was from 1st Street in Brooklyn, was transferred to Elmhurst General Hospital where he was later pronounced deceased.

Pena has been charged with manslaughter, assault, grand larceny, leaving the scene of an accident and reckless endangerment.

Police said the investigation is ongoing.

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