The driver of a pickup truck that rammed a limousine in Long Island, New York, on Saturday, killing four women, was arraigned Sunday on a charge of driving while intoxicated, police said. The 55-year-old driver, who was injured in the crash, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Steven Romeo was reportedly arraigned at Eastern Long Island Hospital and held on a $1 million bond or $500,000 cash bail, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office. He is scheduled to appear in court on Friday.
The accident reportedly occurred at about 5:10 p.m. Saturday in Cutchogue, New York, when Romeo’s truck hit the limousine, which was carrying eight women returning from touring vineyards. The limo was attempting a U-turn at the intersection of County Route 48 and Depot Lane, according to officials of the Southold Town Police Department in Long Island, NBC New York reported Sunday.
The driver of the limousine and four other passengers survived the accident, and were reportedly rushed to Stony Brook University Hospital where they were listed in stable condition Saturday night.
Southold Town police chief Martin Flatley, who described the crash as "one of the worst accidents I've ever seen," identified the deceased as Brittany M. Schulman, 23, of Smithtown, on Long Island's North Shore; Lauren Baruch, 24, also of Smithtown; Stephanie Belli, 23, of nearby Kings Park; and Amy R. Grabina, 23, of Commack, also on the North Shore, according to the Associated Press.
Flatley reportedly said that Romeo hit the brakes before the accident but could not stop in time. Romeo fled the crash scene and was later arrested.
Romeo is the co-owner of Southold-based Romeo Dimon Marine Services, which is currently being sued for the death of an employee Andrew J. Leon in 2014, the New York Times reported. According to the lawsuit filed by Leon's family, Romeo was reportedly operating heavy equipment when it struck Leon, killing him.