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March 8, 2013

Vehicular manslaughter charge in NY couple’s crash

NEW YORK — A man arrested in connection with a car crash that killed a rabbinical college student, his pregnant wife and their baby faced a charge of vehicular manslaughter Thursday, police said.

Julio Acevedo was to appear in front of a judge Thursday night in state Supreme Court in Brooklyn.

He had arrived in New York earlier Thursday after agreeing to be returned from Pennsylvania, where he had surrendered to police in the parking lot of a Bethlehem convenience store a day earlier.

Acevedo was arrested on a charge of leaving the scene of an accident but had been expected to face more serious charges. The New York Police Department said the charges would include one count of vehicular manslaughter for causing the death of a child and three counts each of criminally negligent homicide and leaving the scene of an accident.

Acevedo was accused of barreling down a Brooklyn street at 60 mph early Sunday and crashing into a hired car carrying Nachman and Raizy Glauber, who were on their way to a hospital.

The Glaubers, both 21, died Sunday. Their son, delivered by cesarean section, died Monday of extreme prematurity due to blunt-force injuries to his mother, who was seven months pregnant and was thrown from the hired car, the city medical examiner’s office said.

The hired car that had been carrying them had a stop sign, though it’s unclear whether the driver stopped. The driver was knocked unconscious.

At an appearance in Pennsylvania, Acevedo, 44, told Judge Kelly Banach that he had finished the 11th grade, was unemployed and lives in Brooklyn with his mother. He wore an orange jumpsuit and was shackled at the ankles and wrists.

His surrender was brokered by a friend who had been in touch with police earlier Wednesday. The friend met officers at New York’s Grand Central Terminal and led them to Acevedo in Bethlehem, about 80 miles away, police said. The friend had told police that Acevedo would surrender after consulting an attorney, but there wasn’t one with him when he turned himself in, police said.

Acevedo told the Daily News that he was fleeing a gunman who was trying to shoot at him when his borrowed BMW slammed into the Glaubers’ hired car. He told the newspaper he fled because he was worried he would be killed. But police said there were no reports of shots fired in the area at the time of the wreck.

The couple belonged to a close-knit ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn, which is home to the largest community of ultra-Orthodox Jews outside Israel, more than 250,000. They were members of the Satmar Hasidic sect.

Nachman Glauber, whose family founded a line of clothing for Orthodox Jews, was studying at a rabbinical college. Raizy Glauber grew up in a prominent rabbinical family.

The couple’s son was buried Monday near their graves, a community spokesman said. About a thousand community members turned out for the couple’s funeral a day earlier.

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