Alleged Drunken Driver Involved in Fatal Crash Held on $250,000 Bail

Joseph Perez is due back in court on Jan. 10.

Joseph Perez. Credit: Southampton Police Department
Joseph Perez. Credit: Southampton Police Department
An Aquebogue man is being held on $250,000 cash bail after pleading not guilty to DWI charges related to a Sunday morning accident that resulted in the death of a 56-year-old pedestrian, who was delivering newspapers in Hampton Bays.

Joseph Perez, 31, who has been charged with misdemeanor driving while intoxicated so far, appeared before Southampton Justice Barbara Wilson on Monday morning. He will likely face additional charges, according to Southampton Town Police Detective Sgt. Susan C. Ralph.

Perez was behind the wheel of a 2001 Ford pickup truck, heading west on Montauk Highway, when he struck Donna Sartori, a Middle Island resident, and two parked cars in the westbound shoulder at 4:24 a.m., police said. The accident occurred just west of Ponquogue Avenue.

His truck hit a parked car, then Sartori, and then her parked vehicle. She was standing near her car when she was struck, police said. 

Sartori was pronounced dead at the scene; her family, who is now on a desperate search for her dog, which ran from the scene, is devastated. 

According to a report on News Review, Perez is a single father and is currently enrolled at Suffolk Community College.

Costa said Perez who was arrested once before on a weapons charge stemming from a 2005 incident. 

Perez is due back in court on Jan. 10. 

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