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Jun 21, 2018 3:16 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Chace Quinn Indicted On 18 Counts For Striking And Killing Truck Driver On County Road 39 in April

Chace Quinn Indicted On 18 Counts For Striking And Killing Truck Driver On County Road 39 in April. GREG WEHNER
Jun 26, 2018 2:43 PM

Chace Quinn, 19, of the Shinnecock Indian Reservation, accused of striking and killing a truck driver on County Road 39 during the early morning hours of April 4 and never stopping at the scene, was arraigned on an 18-count indictment in Suffolk County Criminal Court in Central Islip last Thursday, June 21.

The indictment includes numerous felonies, including four counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, four counts of first-degree vehicular manslaughter, second-degree manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident, and other crimes. If convicted on all counts, Mr. Quinn faces between 12 and 36 years in prison.

Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini announced the indictment at the H. Lee Dennison county office building in Hauppauge just a few hours after Mr. Quinn was arraigned by State Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho. He was ordered held without bail at Suffolk County Jail in Riverside after the arraignment.

“This is a serious case,” Mr. Sini said. “An individual is dead. There is a family who will never have their loved one come home again.”

Mr. Sini broke down how authorities see the events of the morning of April 5.

He said Mr. Quinn and his friends were seen on video surveillance consuming multiple beers and shots of liquor at two different bars on the night of April 4. The district attorney also said Mr. Quinn was seen by witnesses smoking marijuana numerous times throughout the night.

He then got behind the wheel of a 2013 Jeep Wrangler and was observed, again by video surveillance, driving eastbound on County Road 39 “at a very high rate of speed” with three passengers in the car. At about 2:30 a.m., he struck 63-year-old Joseph Lynn McAlla of Clifford, Pennsylvania. Mr. McAlla had stepped out of his 18-wheel truck parked along County Road 39 to lock the gate at Southampton Masonry, where he had just made a delivery.

On impact, Mr. McAlla’s leg was severed at the knee and thrown 70 feet from where his body was discovered, investigators said.

Instead of stopping, Mr. Quinn turned off his headlights and sped off to the Shinnecock Reservation, according to Mr. Sini.

“The three passengers and the defendant looked at the vehicle and inspected it for damage,” Mr. Sini said. “The defendant would later tell multiple individuals that he had hit a deer.

“The driver’s side mirror and front fender flare were missing from the Jeep. None of them called 911, and all of them were intoxicated,” Mr. Sini added.

For the next two months, Mr. Quinn evaded police on the reservation, authorities said, but on May 29, at 2:30 a.m., Mr. Quinn was apprehended as he was attempting to flee the area to Georgia, where they say he wanted to start a new life.

“At no time did he come forward with regard to the crash,” said Mr. Sini, who also pointed out that Mr. Quinn is believed to be a member of the Bloods street gang.

Mr. Quinn, who is represented by attorney Peter Smith, also faces charges of intimidating a witness, tampering with physical evidence, and driving with a suspended license, all felonies, along with misdemeanor charges of circumventing an interlock device, and unauthorized use of a vehicle. The vehicle was equipped with the interlock device because of a previous DWI conviction.

When asked why it took two months to provide a name or description of the person who struck and killed Mr. McAlla, Mr. Sini said his team was working on its grand jury case.

The eight-week investigation involved multiple agencies, including the State Police Accident Reconstruction Unit and State Police Investigative Unit, Suffolk County Police, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Suffolk County district attorney’s office.

“We’re here today to announce another indictment that was handed down by the grand jury as a result of excellent work of the Suffolk County district attorney’s office vehicular crimes bureau, the New York State Police and the Southampton Town Police Department,” Mr. Sini said. “This is a great example of collaboration among several different agencies.”

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