A grand jury has indicted the drivers of a limousine and a pick-up truck that collided in Cutchogue, Long Island, in July 2015. The crash killed four women in the limo.
Carlos Pino, 58, of Ultimate Class Limousine faces the most serious charges: four counts of criminally negligent homicide, four counts of assault, failure to yield the right of way, reckless driving and other traffic law infractions, Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said.
Steven Romeo, 55, was allegedly drunk at the wheel of the pickup truck, authorities said. However, Spota said that Romeo could not have avoided hitting the limo. "In fact our experts tell us that at 55 mph it would have taken anyone 263 feet to stop and avoid the crash," Spota said. He had only 200 feet to react to the situation.
"A perfectly sober Steven Romeo could not avoid this crash. An intoxicated Steven Romeo could not avoid this crash. It was simply unavoidable from Romeo's perspective," Spota said.
Romeo pleaded not guilty last year to driving while intoxicated after the crash.
The limo was carrying eight young women. The group -- friends since high school now in their 20s -- were returning from a nearby winery on Long Island's East End.
Romeo owned a local marine contracting company called Romeo Dimon Marine service. He was also involved in another fatal accident in January 2014, when a bucket fell off a skid-steer loader, operated by Romeo, killing a 30-year-old worker.
Limousines are common in the area for people visiting the numerous wineries there.
The identities of the dead crash victims are: Brittany Schulman, 23, of Smithtown; Lauren Baruch, 24, of Smithtown; Stephanie Belli, 23, of Kings Park; and Amy Grabina, 23, of Commack.
Injured in the crash were Joelle Dimonte, 25, of Elwood; Melissa Angela Crai, 23, of Scarsdale; Alicia Arundel, 24, of Setauket; and Olga Lipets, 24, of Brooklyn.