Indicted in Hit-and-Run, Man Faces Years in Jail

A man arrested last month in connection with a Southampton hit-and-run accident in April that left a delivery driver dead has been indicted, Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini said on Thursday. 

Chace Quinn, a 19-year-old from Southampton who police said is an alleged member of the Bloods street gang, was behind the wheel of a 2013 Jeep when he struck and killed Joseph Lynn McAlla, 63, of Clifford, Pa., on County Road 39, then drove away. The district attorney’s office said Mr. Quinn was driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

“There is no doubt that the defendant fled because he knew he was highly intoxicated, he knew that he was high on marijuana, he knew that he was wanted by the police, and he fled to evade detection,” Mr. Sini said in a statement. “He also continued to lie about the crash by telling people that the car was damaged because he hit a deer.”

Mr. McAlla was making a delivery to Southampton Masonry in the early morning hours of April 5, when he got out of his truck, reportedly to open the gate, and tried to cross the street. Passers-by found him dead in the roadway at about 2:30 a.m.

“This is a very serious case. There is a family who will never have their loved one come home again,” Mr. Sini said. “The district attorney’s office, working in collaboration with the New York State Police and Southampton Town Police, will do everything in its power to hold this defendant accountable and bring justice to the victim’s family.”

Mr. Sini said Mr. McAlla’s leg was severed just below his knee and that he was thrown approximately 70 feet to where his body was found. “The victim died on the roadway as a result of being struck. The defendant did not stop and did not slow down, but rather turned his headlights off and sped away to the Shinnecock Indian Reservation, which was a short distance away.”

Mr. Quinn “evaded police for approximately two months on the reservation,” Mr. Sini said. “At no time did he come forward with regard to the crash. Police had to use some innovative tactics to both build this case and apprehend this individual, and they did exactly that.”

New York State police arrested Mr. Quinn on May 28 on Sunrise Highway at approximately 2:30 a.m., while he reportedly was trying to flee to Georgia to live with family, the D.A.’s office said. 

“This horrific incident is a reminder of how serious reckless vehicular operation can be and underscores the serious consequences of reckless driving,” Southampton Town Police Chief Steven Skrynecki said in a statement.�

A grand jury indicted Mr. Quinn on four counts of aggravated vehicular homicide and four counts of vehicular manslaughter in the first degree, as well as two counts of intimidating a victim or witness in the first degree. He also was indicted on manslaughter in the second degree, leaving the scene of a fatal accident, tampering with physical evidence, driving while intoxicated, driving while ability impaired by the combined influence of drugs and alcohol, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree, unauthorized use of a vehicle in the third degree, and circumvention of an interlock device.

He faces a maximum sentence of 12 to 36 years in prison if convicted, according to the district attorney’s office.

Suffolk County Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho arraigned Mr. Quinn on Thursday. He was held without bail.