GOSHEN – A Highland Mills man was arraigned before Orange County Court Judge Craig Stephen Brown on Monday on charges of vehicular manslaughter and aggravated operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol in connection with the death of his passenger.
The charges in the indictment against Robert Higgins, 24, allege that he was driving drunk on Route 32 in the Town of Woodbury at about 1:30 a.m. on December 22, 2017 when he collided with a tractor-trailer, killing his passenger, Preston Jones, 23, of Fayetteville, North Carolina.
An Orange County grand jury charged Higgins with three counts of vehicular manslaughter, aggravated operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and two counts of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Bail was set at $5,000.
State Police and Woodbury Town Police investigated the incident.
“Fatalities which occur as the result of driving while intoxicated are as tragic as they are preventable,” said District Attorney David Hoovler. “Too many lives have been irreparably harmed by those who drive while intoxicated.” He warned that if a person has been drinking, “call a taxicab or make other arrangements to get yourself safely home.”