Two people are heading to prison after one person was killed during a high-speed chase with police in Newburgh.

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Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced 27-year-old Luis Colon and 18-year-old Jose Tavera both of New Jersey pleaded guilty in Orange County Court to charges related to the burglary of a Town of Newburgh motor-sports store, where an occupant of the van that they were in which was transporting the stolen motorbikes and ATVs crashed and killed one occupant.

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Colon, who admitted being the driver of the van, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and burglary. Tavera, who was charged as an adolescent offender, pleaded guilty to attempted burglary.

“Throwing vehicles from a moving van out onto the highway severely endangers not only the police, but other motorists and pedestrians,” Hoovler said. “I commend the police officers who risked their lives to protect others. Had these defendants complied with police commands and been arrested they would have been released with no bail being set due to the recent bail reform laws. The death of this man was truly a senseless tragedy.”

On December 6, 2020, at about 1:30 AM the defendants stole motorbikes and go-karts from the Big Boyz Toys motor-sports store located on Route 9W in the Town of Newburgh.

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The defendants placed the stolen vehicles in a van which was then pursued by marked patrol cars of the Town of Newburgh Police Department and the New York State Police, which had activated their lights and sirens.

At times the van was traveling over 90 ninety miles an hour, police say.

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During the course of the police chase on State Route 9W, a passenger in the van opened the back door of the van and threw the stolen dirt bikes and other vehicles out of the van in an apparent attempt to slow the pursuing police cars, damaging a New York State Police marked police car, police say.

Trooper April Roberts and Trooper Daniel Gilmore of the New York State Police photo credit New York State Police Facebook Page

The van, which was driven by Colon, crashed while in the City of Newburgh, resulting in the death of one of its occupants.

Ivan Bliznetsov

Both defendants agree to pay $2,180 in restitution for the damaged police car. The District Attorney’s Office will recommend that Colon be sentenced to ten years in prison and Tavera be sentenced to five years in prison when they are sentenced in December.

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