On January 18, 2012, Steven Rivera, a 25 year old resident of Ossining, was arrested by the New York State Police and charged for his role in a fatal car accident on June 26, 2011 on Interstate 287 in Yonkers. In the incident, which police have charged was an “Unauthorized Speed Contest”, two people were killed in the vehicle Rivera was reportedly racing, Travis Clark, 27, and Jillisa McCarthy, 20. Clark was the driver of the other vehicle and Ms. McCarthy a front seat passenger.
Allegedly, Rivera and his friend Clark were racing at speeds over 100 m.p.h when Clark lost control of his vehicle and struck a signpost, tearing the post from the pavement. Initially, Mr. Rivera gave a statement to police but did not acknowledge any role in the fatal crash other than as a witness, according to the New York State Police.
Mr. Rivera is now charged with three misdemeanors. The first is “Unauthorized Speed Contest”, an unclassified misdemeanor under Section 1182 of the New York Vehicle & Traffic Law. If found guilty of this charge, the maximum penalty is up to 30 days in jail, a $300.00 to $525.00 fine, or both. He is also charged with Reckless Endangerment under section 120.25 of the Penal Law of the State of New York, which is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1-3 years in jail and a $1,000 fine. Lastly, Rivera is charged with Falsely Reporting an Incident under section 240.50 of the Penal Law, also a Class A misdemeanor with the same possible penalties.
Due to the two fatalities in this case, a New York State Police spokesperson noted that the charges against Mr. Rivera could be superseded and enhanced, depending on a determination by the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office.
Mr. Rivera has been released on his own recognizance and for the moment, his case is pending in the Yonkers City Court. If the charges against Mr. Rivera were upgraded to felonies, this would be beyond the jurisdiction of the local City Court in Yonkers and the case would be transferred to the Westchester County Court in White Plains.