Early morning car accident takes Briarwood man’s life

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A 44-year-old Briarwood man was killed early Sunday morning when the car he was driving was cut off by an alleged drunk driver on the westbound Grand Central Parkway near Avon Road, police said. The victim lost control of car and crashed into a tree.

Jose Borges, of 147-11 Coolidge Ave., was on his way home from Farmingdale, L.I., where he worked as a manager for a United Artists theater, when the red Ford he was driving was cut off around 3:47 a.m. by a gray Lexus driven by Juan Gonzalez, 30, of 122-38 150th Ave. in South Jamaica, police said.

After his car collided with a tree some 100 feet away from the red Ford, Borges was taken to Mary Immaculate Hospital where he died.

Gonzalez, who was unharmed, was arrested at the accident scene and charged with driving while intoxicated, criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment, police said.

"We were all shocked," said Mirna Valcine, Borges' cousin, who was at Borges' two-story brick home Tuesday morning comforting Borges' mother, who cried while talking on the phone to her family in Haiti. "He was just a quiet, nice guy, just going to work from home, trying to survive like everybody. This thing that happened is devastating to everybody."

Borges was never married and had a very close relationship with his 68-year-old mother, Erika Borges, whom he lived with, Valcine said.

"He was everything to her and vice-versa," Valcine said. "He took care of her. She had a stroke three or four years ago, and he took care of her financially, emotionally."

Borges and his mother came to the United States more than 20 years ago from Haiti. Many of Borges' cousins, aunts and uncles live in Queens and Brooklyn, Valcine said.

When not working the night shift at the movie theater he managed, Borges spent most of his time at home with his mother. He liked to listen to salsa music in his room, said Marsha Villars, another of Borges' cousins.

A wake and funeral for Borges have been planned for Friday and Saturday at the French Speaking Baptist Church on Clermont Avenue in Brooklyn.

Reach reporter Tien-Shun Lee by e-mail at, or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 155.

Updated 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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