The driver in the that killed West Islip 5-year-old John Gaffney will be arraigned Tuesday on a homicide charge, according to information posted on the New York State Unified Court System website.
Steven Kinalis, 30, who prosecutors have admitted to taking a mixture of prescription drugs before rear-ending the Gaffney family's pickup truck on Sunrise Highway in Shirley last month, was originally charged with a misdemeanor of driving while ability impaired by drugs.
A grand jury handed up an indictment against Kinalis last Thursday and it includes charges of aggravated vehicular homicide and manslaughter, according to the court website.
Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota will announce the new charges Monday.
Aggravated vehicular homicide, a class B felony that state lawmakers put on the books following the drunk driving crash that killed 7-year-old Katie Flynn on the Meadowbrook Parkway in 2005, is punishable by up to 25 years in prison.
The Gaffney family was headed out east on Dec. 10 to buy a Christmas tree when the crash occurred. The impact sent the truck driven by Kevin Gaffney off the road into a tree. John Gaffney, a kindergartner at died a day later at Stony Brook University Medical Center.
Kevin Gaffney, his wife, Teri, his 7-year-old daughter Emma and 2-year-old son Ryan were also in the truck and treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
Kinalis, of Ronkonkoma, has been in jail since the crash. He will be arraigned on the new felony charges Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. in Suffolk County Criminal Court in Riverhead before Judge James Hudson.