Seven bridesmaids and a bride-to-be were involved in an horrific accident when an alleged drunk driver smashed into the side of their limo in Long Island, New York on Saturday. Four of the women were killed, while the bride is still fighting for her life.
Brittney M. Schulman, 23, Lauren Baruch, 24, Stephanie Belli, 23, and Amy R. Grabina, 23, all lost their lives in the crash in Cutchogue.
Authorities identified the other women as Joelle Dimonte, 25, Melissa Angela Crai, 23, Alicia Arundel, 24, and Olga Lipets, 24.
The women were rushed to hospital where the bride-to-be remains in critical condition.
The driver of the pickup, 55-year-old Steven Romeo, is expected to survive. He has been charged with driving while intoxicated, but the charges could be upgraded, the New York Times reported.
Romeo was arraigned from his hospital bed on a $1 million bond and has pleaded not guilty.
The group had just left a winery for a birthday party on Saturday afternoon when authorities say the limo attempted to turn around in the road and was nearly sliced in half by Romeo's pickup truck.
According to the Associated Press, he initially fled the scene, but was soon caught.
The limo company that rented the vehicle in the tragedy this past weekend reportedly has had a clean record for the past 20 years.
But partygoers in limousines may not be riding with complete peace of mind.
This is not the first time tragedy has struck a wedding party in a limo on Long Island. In 2005, a flower girl, adorable seven-year-old Katie Flynn, a niece of the bride, was killed when a drunk driver struck the limo in which she was traveling.
911 calls revealed the harrowing incident.
An operator is heard saying, "State police?"
"Hi, I just saw a truck driving northbound in the southbound lane. It almost killed me and somebody else,” said a caller. That truck was headed straight for Flynn 's limo.
A camera on the dashboard of the limousine captured the very moment of the collision. The limo was smashed beyond recognition. The limo driver was dead -- and so was the little girl.
Tragedy struck another bridal party in May 2013. A passenger is heard saying in a frantic 911 call, “We need help. We're on the San Mateo Bridge. The car is burning!”
A woman was trapped inside the back of a burning limousine on a San Francisco-area bridge.
A passenger said, “The car is burning!”
“I cannot make it out!”
“Oh my God. I cannot open the door. What's going on? I cannot move! Open it!”
The doors were locked and wouldn’t open from the inside or out. Rescuers could only watch in horror as the screaming inside the limo faded to silence. There were five women inside - all from a bachelorette party. The rescuers were forced to give up hope.
“Is there anything else you need me to do?” said a 911 operator.
“No, I don't thing there's anything we can do,” said an unidentified person.
The five best friends all died, including the young bride-to-be. The raging fire was attributed to an electrical breakdown.
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