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Driver accused of fatally striking, dragging man in Brooklyn road rage incident was drunk

BAY RIDGE, Brooklyn — The utility van driver who allegedly fatally struck and dragged a man in Brooklyn after a Thursday road rage incident was drunk at the time, prosecutors said.

David Cruz, 55, allegedly had several drinks before getting in his van, swerving and crashing into Gavrial Mardaknayev’s car, court documents show. Mardaknayev tried to confront Cruz. He and his wife drove after him from Sunset Park into Bay Ridge.

Mardaknayev got out of the car and walked over to Cruz’ van around 65th Street, police officials said. Cruz allegedly drove into Mardaknayev, dragging him under the van for about two blocks to  67th Street and Third Avenue. Mardaknayev was rushed to Lutheran Hospital, but he did not survive.

A bystander stopped the van driver until police arrived, officials said. Cruz was charged with murder, operating a vehicle under the influence and reckless driving. He was arraigned and released on $50,000 bail.