Driver is Indicted in Deadly Limo Crash that Killed 4 Women
The limo driver whose four young female passengers were killed in a crash in New York wine country last summer has been indicted on negligent homicide and other charges, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Carlos Pino, 58, was attempting to make a U-turn when his limo was struck by a pickup truck being driven by Steven Romeo.
"Romeo can be held criminally responsible for driving while intoxicated, but he cannot be held criminally responsible for the crash," Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said. "The person who is criminally responsible for the crash is Carlos Pino and Carlos Pino alone."
Spota cited an investigation and witnesses to the deadly collision, who said it would be impossible for Romeo to have avoided the collision.
Romeo, was charged with drunk driving offenses, but the grand jury declined to indict him on more severe charges, according to the Associated Press.
A message left for Romeo's attorney was not immediately returned.
Brittney M. Schulman, 23, Lauren Baruch, 24, Stephanie Belli, 23, and Amy R. Grabina, 23, all lost their lives in the crash in Cutchogue.
Four other women were hospitalized. Authorities identified the other women as Joelle Dimonte, 25, Melissa Angela Crai, 23, Alicia Arundel, 24, and Olga Lipets, 24.
Pino was also hospitalized.
The group had just left a winery when authorities say the limo attempted to turn around in the road and was nearly sliced in half by Romeo's pickup truck.
"Pino failed to take any precaution or action to make sure he could safely enter the westbound traffic lanes; he continued to attempt his U-turn without stopping," Spota said.
Pino entered a plea of not guilty on Wednesday.
his attorney, Brendan Ahern, told InsideEdition.com that he intends to prove his client should not be held criminally responsible.
"Everyone recognizes what a profound tragedy this is," Ahern said. However, "criminal liability cannot and should not be measured by human tragedy."
Pino is due back in court April 19.