Four women have been laid to rest after they were killed in a car crash that allegedly involved alcohol. The women were riding in a limousine after a Long Island vineyard tour when a pickup truck smashed into the vehicle, nearly ripping it in half.
Three women were pronounced dead at the scene and another died at the hospital a few hours later. As the investigation is ongoing, there is no word as to whether a DUI accident lawsuit will be filed at this time by any of the drunk driving victims or their families.
Limo broadsided by pickup
Eight women in total had gathered to celebrate the upcoming wedding of one of the friends. Just after 5 p.m., when their vineyard tour ended, the women returned to the limo they had rented to avoid the dangers of drinking and driving that day. The limousine was in the process of making a U-turn on Route 48 in a rural part of Eastern Long Island, when the pickup broadsided the vehicle. In addition to the four women killed as a result of the crash, two were critically injured.
The deceased include Brittney Schulman, 23, of Smithtown; Lauren Baruch, 24, also of Smithtown; Stephanie Belli, 23, of Kings Park; and Amy Grabina, 23, of Commack. The other women in the vehicle were Joelle Dimonte, 25, of Elkwood; Melissa Angela Crai, 23, of Scarsdale; Alicia Arundel, 24, of Setauket; and Olga Lipets, 24, of Brooklyn. The driver of the limo, Carlos Pino, 58, was also injured in the crash.
The driver of the pickup, Steven Romeo, 55, of Southold, was also injured and charged with driving while intoxicated. While that charge is a misdemeanor in Suffolk County, where the accident took place, Suffolk County officials said those charges could be upgraded, pending the results of the investigation. Romeo has pled not guilty to the charges at this time.
DUI accidents common problem in Suffolk County
According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, more than 8,300 alcohol-related vehicle crashes were reported to police in 2013. Of that total, 358 were fatal accidents. The Long Island counties of Suffolk and Nassau usually lead the state in fatal crashes involving alcohol, with nearly 80 deaths reported in those counties alone in 2013.
This recent accident occurred less than one week after a crash in Suffolk County killed three members of a family from Queens. According to officials, a drunk driver plowed into the vehicle on the Southern State Parkway. The driver fled the scene, but was later identified as Oneil Sharpe, Jr. The crash killed two children, ages 4 and 8, as well as their father, Ancio Ostane. Only the mother survived the crash.
Long Island drunk driver accident lawyers
At Edelman, Krasin & Jaye, we help victims of drunk driving accidents pursue the compensation they need to pay their medical bills and other accident-related expenses. Our veteran Long Island personal injury lawyers have seen firsthand the devastating impact of these events and are committed to helping those that have been injured or lost loved ones get back on solid footing once again.
To learn more or get a free evaluation of your case, contact Edelman, Krasin & Jaye at 1-800-469-7429.