The defense attorney for a Hewitt father and son said Friday that his clients were not engaged in a “speed contest” before a crash in the Lincoln Tunnel last February.
“While my clients may be in violation of several provisions of the Vehicle and Traffic Law, they certainly did not act with premeditated, criminal intent,” New York criminal attorney Daniel Kron, Esq. said in a statement Nov. 29. “The evidence will ultimately prove that my clients had no plan to engage in a, ‘speed contest.’ Rather, a lapse in judgement, which my clients truly regret, resulted in a potentially unsafe environment for other drivers in the Lincoln Tunnel.”
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police arrested Hewitt residents Chadwick Quinones, 25, and his father, Fred Ordine, 44, on Nov. 26 after detectives for the agency reviewed a video posted on Instagram from a dash camera inside Quinones black corvette.
The incident initially took place around 10 p.m. Feb. 9 in the north tube of the Lincoln Tunnel.
According to police, the pair were traveling through the tunnel “at an excessive rate of speed” in Quinones black corvette and his father’s yellow corvette.
Quinones was apparently filming the drive through the tunnel, according to the video, which shows his vehicle pass two New Jersey Transit buses, then accelerate.
The yellow corvette can be seen matching the speed in the left lane, briefly overtaking the black corvette, then bumping it and making it go into a spin.
The resulting loss of control sent the black corvette into a SUV driven by David Levine, address and age not released by police in the complaint from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, sending the SUV into the side walls and railings in the tunnel, making it inoperable.
In the complaint, Levine told police that Quinones regained control of his vehicle and the corvettes left the scene of the accident.
Quinones returned with Ordine an hour and 30-40 minutes later, admitting he was involved in the crash, and was charged in Weehawken with leaving the scene of an accident, careless driving, and failure to exhibit registration documents, police said.
According to the complaint, both men said at the time that they “were messing around” in the tunnel prior to the crash.
After Port Authority police learned about the Instagram video, posted, but later removed, by Quinones, the charges were added to include reckless endangerment in the second degree, reckless driving, and taking part in an illegal speed contest.
Ordine was also charged with the offenses Nov. 26, police said.
Both men were held and arraigned at midnight Nov. 27 in New York, then released on their own recognizance, police said.
"We are committed to tracking down people who commit this type of reckless behavior and prosecuting them,” Port Authority Police Chief Detective Matthew Wilson said. “In doing so, we hope to deter others from doing the same."
Kron said the men did not post the video for “bragging rights,” or to show a race, but rather to show the accident from the driver’s point of view.
“It is important to note that my clients only briefly left the scene of this accident in order to make way for east and westbound traffic, given that there is only one lane in each direction,” Kron’s statement said. “Shortly thereafter, my clients reported the accident and have fully cooperated with all requests made by the NYPD.”
The pair are due back in court on Jan. 13, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
“The evidence will ultimately prove that my clients had no plan to engage in a, ‘speed contest.’ Rather, a lapse in judgement, which my clients truly regret, resulted in a potentially unsafe environment for other drivers in the Lincoln Tunnel.” - New York Criminal Defense Attorney Daniel Kron, Esq.