Witness: Cop Ran Red Light

Daily News

By HUGH SON
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER


A witness in the trial of an off-duty cop accused of plowing into a young Brooklyn motorcyclist while allegedly driving drunk painted a grisly scene of the collision in Brooklyn Supreme Court yesterday.

Thomas Blanchett, 22, was one of two other motorcycle riders accompanying Stefanos Kiladitis on a fateful summer night cruise through Bay Ridge two years ago.

On the trial's first day, Blanchett told a jury that he saw Police Officer Victor Wilson's car appear suddenly in front of Kiladitis' motorbike at 88th St. and Fort Hamilton Parkway.

He said he expected the worst after the bone-rattling crash Ð when he saw his pal flying through the air, landing about 30 feet from his Yamaha motorcycle.

"I thought he wasn't going to be intact, let me put it that way," Blanchett told the Daily News outside of the courtroom.

Blanchett also testified that Wilson ran a red light at Fort Hamilton Parkway the night of the crash.

"I ran to Mr. Wilson's car and I was screaming, "You ran a red light, what's wrong with you?" he said.

Blanchett then found his friend gasping for air on the street, bleeding from the nose and ears, he said. Kiladitis, 21, died of his injuries three days later.

Wilson faces up to seven years in prison for the June 19, 2002, incident on charges of vehicular manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide. The cop had just left a Bay Ridge bowling alley when the crash happened.

In his opening remarks, Wilson's defense lawyer Todd Greenberg told jurors that the crash was a "terrible accident" Ð but not a crime.

"Witnesses will tell us Mr. Wilson didn't exhibit any sign of intoxication and his ability to drive wasn't impaired," Greenberg said.

To the obvious displeasure of members of the Kiladitis family in attendance, Greenberg also indicated that Kiladitis and his friends were using Fort Hamilton Parkway as a private racetrack, driving their motorcycles at 25 mph above the 30 mph speed limit.

Prosecutors said that to prove Wilson guilty of vehicular manslaughter, they would show the cop was both intoxicated and criminally negligent.

In opening remarks, Assistant District Attorney Joe Petrosino said Wilson failed his sobriety test Ð his blood level was 0.11%, which is 0.01% above the legal limit.

Originally published on March 10, 2004.

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