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New City Motorcyclist Sentenced In Fatal Crash

Clifford Perkins pleaded guilty to negligent homicide in a May 25, 2014 motorcycle crash on the Sprain Brook Parkway that resulted in the death of a New Jersey man.
Clifford Perkins pleaded guilty to negligent homicide in a May 25, 2014 motorcycle crash on the Sprain Brook Parkway that resulted in the death of a New Jersey man. Photo Credit: File photo

A 27-year-old resident of New City has been given a sentence of 16 months to four years in state prison after pleading guilty  to criminally negligent homicide in a traffic death that occurred in 2014, according to Acting Westchester County District Attorney James A. McCarty.

The defendant, Clifford Perkins, pleaded guilty to the charge in relation to the  death of New Jersey resident Scott Phillips  on March 3.

The incident preceding Perkins’ sentencing took place on the Sprain Brook Parkway near I-287, where the defendant was operating his 2002 Yamaha motorcycle on May 25, 2014, about 12:34 p.m., prosecutors said.

Phillips was driving his 2013 BMW motorcycle in the left lane of the Parkway, while a third party, Edward Murray, was operating his 2001 Mazda vehicle in the center lane.

Murray told investigators he was traveling southbound on the Parkway when several motorcycles passed him at high rates of speed; another witness told investigators that 11 to 12 motorcycles went past him in the left lane at approximately 90-100 miles per hour, officials said.

Moments later, Murray observed another motorcycle, later identified as the defendant’s, coming up behind him at a high rate of speed.

The witness saw the motorcycle start to wobble just before it struck his vehicle from behind, prosecutors said.

Subsequent accident reconstruction by the New York State Police determined that Perkins’ motorcycle struck the rear bumper of the Mazda, causing the vehicle to rotate counter-clockwise while crossing into the left lane and left shoulder of the roadway, striking the center guide rail and re-entering the left lane of travel.

The defendant was ejected from his motorcycle and came to rest on the right shoulder, while his motorcycle became engulfed in flames.

The accident reconstruction calculated that the defendant’s motorcycle had a minimum speed of 82-95 miles per hour after the impact with the Mazda.

When the Mazda re-entered the left lane after striking the center guide rail, the victim’s motorcycle struck the car’s passenger side, according to officials.

Phillips was ejected from his motorcycle and came to rest down an embankment off the right shoulder of the roadway.

Phillips' motorcycle also became engulfed in flames, prosecutors said.

The accident reconstruction calculated that the victim’s motorcycle had a minimum speed of 58-67 miles per hour after the impact with the Mazda.

At the time of the collision, Perkins possessed a revoked and suspended New York State license with a cancelled motorcycle endorsement.

Perkins failed to appear on his original sentencing date of Aug. 3, and a fugitive warrant was issued for his arrest, prosecutors said.

The Westchester County Police Warrant Squad, with the assistance of U.S. Customs, took Perkins into custody at LaGuardia Airport on Aug. 20, according to officials.

The defendant had purchased a plane ticket for a flight to Miami, with a further connection to Jamaica, prosecutors said.

Perkins was remanded into the custody of the New York State Department of Corrections.

Assistant District Attorney Jean Prisco of the Superior Court Trial Division prosecuted the case.

To read  the Daily Voice's previous coverage of the case, click here and here.

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