MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) — A New York City real estate executive charged with vehicular homicide and drunken driving in a fatal crash in the Hamptons tried to flee to South America, a prosecutor said Wednesday.
Sean Ludwick was apprehended by local and federal authorities on Tuesday at a property he owns in Sag Harbor, on eastern Long Island, said Robert Clifford, a spokesman for Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota.
Assistant District Attorney John Scott Prudenti, the chief of the Vehicular Crimes Bureau, said authorities learned that Ludwick had made inquiries while visiting Puerto Rico last week about buying a vessel capable of taking him to South America.
"For the next several days the Suffolk County District Attorney's office, acting with local law enforcement and federal authorities, conducted an investigation that led to his arrest," Prudenti told The Associated Press.
Ludwick, a managing partner and founder of Blackhouse Development, had been free on $1 million bond after being indicted in the August death of a passenger in the town of Southampton. Ludwick was arrested on a bench warrant, Clifford said.
He was ordered held without bail Wednesday. His attorney declined to comment. His next court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday.
Ludwick, 43, pleaded not guilty earlier this month to aggravated vehicular homicide, drunken driving and other charges. Prudenti has said previously that a sample taken four hours after the crash showed Ludwick's blood-alcohol content was 0.18, more than double the state's legal limit of 0.08.
The Aug. 30 crash killed his passenger, 53-year-old Paul Hansen, a real estate broker who lived in Sag Harbor.
Prudenti said Ludwick crashed his Porsche into a utility pole, dragged Hansen's body from the car and left it within feet of Hansen's driveway. He then tried to flee the scene, but two of the wheels had come off and the mangled rims of the other two prevented him from traveling more than a quarter-mile, investigators said.
After the arraignment, Manhattan defense attorney Benjamin Brafman called the crash "a very sad case."
"There is no good answer to the fact that someone is dead," said Brafman. "There is a difference between a homicide and an accident that results in a person's death."
This story has been corrected to show that Ludwick was arrested in Sag Harbor, New York, not Puerto Rico.