A young couple from Nassau County was killed in a
motorcycle accident on Interstate 87 in Woodbury recently.
Rafaelito DeJesus, 23, of Valley Stream, and Melissa Rupa, 25, of Mineola
were riding on DeJesus’s motorcycle to visit family in the Hudson
Valley. Around 1:10 a.m., the motorcycle was rear-ended by another vehicle
near Exit 16 and the couple was pronounced dead at the scene following
the crash. The driver, who has now been identified as 24-year-old Luis
Munoz of Ossining, fled the scene of the accident.
An employee at the Orange County Medical Examiner’s office had just
returned from the motorcycle crash site and noticed a car driving erratically.
They called the Woodbury police, who found Munoz driving without his front
bumper and license plate, which were ripped off in the accident. Munoz
has been charged with aggravated vehicular homicide and driving while
intoxicated. He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted and was arraigned
in Town of Woodbury Court and sent to Orange County Jail in lieu of $250,000
Relatives of DeJesus are remembering him as a hard-working, good person.
His uncle, Danny Castillo, spoke with DeJesus when he arrived home from
work that evening at 10 p.m.
“He told me he was going to upstate,” said Castillo. “I
told him to be careful and that it wasn’t a good idea because it
was dark, but he laughed and he said, ‘It will be OK.’”
DeJesus had formerly owned a Honda Civic, but traded it in to buy a motorcycle,
which he took extremely good care of and loved riding.
Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Mr. DeJesus and Ms. Rupa
during this difficult time.