MINEOLA, N.Y. - Surveillance video captured the moments leading up to a crash late Saturday night in New Hyde Park that killed three women who had just left a relative's sweet-16 celebration at the nearby Inn at New Hyde Park.
In the video, you can see a Lincoln Town Car inching into the intersection of Jericho Turnpike as the driver prepared to make a left turn just before 11:10 p.m.
"As he proceeded, a 2012 Mercedes-Benz traveling at a high rate of speed broadsided the vehicle," Detective Capt. Stephen Fitzpatrick of the Nassau County Police Department said.
Police arrested Dante Lennon, 22, of Freeport, who was behind the wheel of the Mercedes. He was arraigned in the hospital on Monday afternoon on three counts of vehicular manslaughter, vehicular assault, and driving while intoxicated.
Lennon had glassy bloodshot eyes and a preliminary breathalyzer test revealed a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.088%, according to court documents.
Investigators are still looking into where he was coming from or going to.
"The primary cause of the accident is the speed and the DWI," Fitzpatrick said. "He displayed signs of being intoxicated."
The three passengers in the backseat who died are being identified as Marlene Lu, 66, and Ho Hua, 68, both of Woodside, Queens, and Nguyen Tu, 41, who lived in North Carolina.
The driver and two remaining passengers, all male, were transported to the hospital with head, neck, and back injuries and are in stable condition.
Police say this stretch of road isn't particularly dangerous. But anytime a person drinks and gets behind the wheel is unsafe.
"One accident is too many and one life is too many," Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said.
Lennon had minor traffic infractions but no prior arrests, police said.
On the top count, he faces a max of 15 years in jail if convicted. Lennon is due back in court later this week.