Logan CrawfordNov 6, 2017, 6:50 pm

Mastic Beach man faces upgraded charges for minivan crash that killed 2 on dirt bike

The victims' families say the new charges are not severe enough


CENTRAL ISLIP — Emotions ran high at the courthouse in Central Islip as a Mastic Beach man who is accused of crashing his minivan into two men on a dirt bike, and killing them, was arraigned on upgraded charges.

Christopher Bouchard’s charged were upgraded from reckless endangerment to manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide. But family members of the victims say it's not enough.

"That's a slap on his wrist. And a slap in my face," said Will Sands whose son, Keenan King, died in the crash.

Prosecutors say Keenan King and Anthony Holmes-Garriques died in June when Bouchard's minivan hit the dirt bike the young men were riding.

Police say 19-year-old king died at the scene on Montauk Highway in North Bellport and 20-year-old Holmes-Garriques later died at the hospital.

The victims' family members say they want the harshest punishment possible for 27-year-old Bouchard.

"You stopped my whole family, you stopped my heart. I want justice," said Lina Garriques, Anthony Holmes-Garriques' mother.

Authorities said the incident began in June when Bouchard reported his brother's dirt bike stolen. Later that day, prosecutors said Bouchard saw King and Holmes-riding a dirt bike, chased them and caused the crash that killed them.

Bouchard pleaded not guilty Monday to two counts of second-degree manslaughter, two counts of criminally negligent homicide and one count of reckless driving.

"A tragedy and horrible accident, and my client didn't have any type of criminal actions on that day. That's our position, we've pleaded not guilty and the process will work out," said John Halverson, Bouchard's lawyer.

The judge set bail for Bouchard at $400,000. If convicted, Bouchard faces up to 15 years in jail.

King's and Garriques' families are calling for the charges against Bouchard to be upgraded even further.

They also want charges to be brought against Bouchard's brother who was in the car at the time of the crash because he allegedly ignored the victims lying in the street to help Bouchard try to put the dirt bike in the trunk of the van. He’s not facing charges at this time.

Bouchard is due back in court later this month.

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