Middle Island Man Facing Upgraded Charges in Fatal Drugged-driving Crash

Kendell Owens
Kendell Owens

A Suffolk County grand jury indicted a Middle Island man on upgraded charges for allegedly causing a drugged-driving crash that killed a 45-year-old man in Shirley last month, prosecutors said.

Kendell Owens pleaded not guilty Wednesday at Suffolk County court to charges of manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, leaving the scene of a fatal accident, driving while impaired by drugs and other counts.

Prosecutors said the 32-year-old suspect was driving eastbound on Montauk Highway when his vehicle struck a northbound sedan at the corner of William Floyd Parkway on Aug. 11.

The second driver, 45-year-old Richard Garcia of Shirley, was pronounced dead at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center in East Patchogue.

Owens, who allegedly ran from the scene, was apprehended several blocks from the crash before he admitted to police that he had smoked marijuana, according to investigators.

Judge Fernando Camacho set bail for Owens at $1 million cash or $2 million bond.