NYC Real Estate Developer Accused of Vehicular Homicide in DUI Jailed
A New York real estate developer is in jail after allegedly trying to flee the country and vehicular homicide charges. Sean Ludwick was arrested in Puerto Rico, where he was reportedly trying to purchase a boat to flee the U.S. Ludwick is currently facing charges of vehicular homicide in the death of a passenger in his vehicle, who he threw out of the car and left by the side of the road after crashing his car into a utility pole while under the influence of alcohol.
Accused pursues boat sale, sailing lessons
Ludwick’s arrest came after a tip from a part-time sailing instructor in Puerto Rico that Ludwick had solicited him for sailing lessons. The instructor, who was associated with the FBI either now or in the past, notified the Suffolk County DA’s office after doing his own background check on Ludwick. The instructor told authorities he conducted the background check after getting a “weird vibe” off of Ludwick at his place of business.
Upon further investigation, the Suffolk County judge that signed Ludwick’s arrest warrant discovered that Ludwick had also been inquiring about the purchase of a vessel with navigational equipment that supported travel to South America. Ludwick had made plans to come see the boat the week he was arrested and taken back to Suffolk County.
Passenger left at side of road
Ludwick and real estate broker Paul Hansen were at a bar on August 30, where witnesses said Ludwick was drinking tequila. The two left the bar together in Ludwick’s Porsche. After crashing his vehicle into a utility pole, Ludwick dragged Hansen’s body out of the car and left him by the side of the road. Authorities said it has not been determined whether Hansen was alive or dead at this time. Ludwick also tossed Hansen’s wallet into a wooded area nearby, in an apparent effort to hide the crime.
Ludwick was arrested a few hours later and authorities said at the time of his arrest, his blood alcohol level was approximately twice the legal limit. He was released from jail on a $1 million bond and forced to confiscate his passport at the time of his release, pending his vehicular homicide charges.
Ludwick recently traveled to Puerto Rico for a vacation. Because Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, no passport is needed to travel to that country. However, the tip about his activities in Puerto Rico prompted U.S. Marshalls to arrest Ludwick and remand him back to Suffolk County, where he is now being held in jail without bond. He is facing 13 criminal charges that could lead to up to 32 years in jail if he is found guilty.
Civil lawsuit possible
In addition to the criminal charges against Ludwick, he could also face a wrongful death civil lawsuit if Hansen’s widow decides to file one. Survivors of those killed in DUI crashes are often eligible to file their own car accident lawsuit against the person responsible for the accident to collect damages for medical treatment, funeral expenses and other non-economic losses.
In some cases, punitive damages may also be requested to hold the person accountable for their actions and discourage future situations.
If you or someone you love is involved in a DUI accident, professional legal assistance can help you navigate the complex world of civil action and liability. Contact the experienced team at The Sanders Firm at 1.800.FAIR.PLAY for a free evaluation of your case and answers to all of your legal questions.
- NY Post, Dirtbag in Deadly Hamptons DUI Nabbed in Bid to Flee America, http://nypost.com/2016/01/20/developer-in-fatal-hamptons-dui-nabbed-in-puerto-rico-trying-to-buy-boat-to-flee/
- NY Daily News, NYC Real Estate Developer Accused of Crashing Car, Leaving Passenger on Side of Road Nabbed in Puerto Rico, http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/real-estate-developer-charged-crash-nabbed-puerto-rico-article-1.2503755
- The East Hampton Star, Sean Ludwick Arrested and Jailed, http://easthamptonstar.com/Police/2016120/Sean-Ludwick-Arrested-and-Jailed