Dante Lennon was allegedly speeding and intoxicated when he broadsided a Lincoln Town Car in New Hyde Park
MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly announced that a Freeport man was arraigned today on grand jury indictment charges for crashing into a car carrying six members of the same family, killing three and injuring three in May.
Dante Lennon, 22, was arraigned before Judge Tammy Robbins on charges including Aggravated Vehicular Homicide (a B felony), three counts of Manslaughter in the Second Degree (a C felony), one count of Vehicular Manslaughter in the First Degree (a C felony), three counts of Assault in the Second Degree (a D violent felony), three counts of Vehicular Manslaughter in the Second Degree (a D felony), three counts of Assault in the Third Degree (an A misdemeanor), two counts of Driving While Intoxicated (an unclassified misdemeanor) and Reckless Driving (an unclassified misdemeanor). The defendant pleaded not guilty, and bail was set at $425,000 bond, $225,000 cash or $425,000 partially secured bond at 10%.
If convicted on the top charge, the defendant faces up to 8-1/3 years to 25 years in prison. Lennon is due back in court September 13.
“It was supposed to be a day of celebration for a family and a young woman turning 16, but the tragic events of that evening will have a ripple effect for generations to come,” said DA Donnelly. “The defendant is accused of a dangerous combination of speed and intoxication when he allegedly barreled down Jericho Turnpike and t-boned a car carrying six family members. This is an extraordinary tragedy, and we will aggressively prosecute Dante Lennon for his alleged actions.”
DA Donnelly said that, according to the charges, on May 21, at approximately 11:08 p.m., the defendant was allegedly driving a Mercedes Benz at a high rate of speed and while intoxicated on Jericho Turnpike in New Hyde Park. The defendant was driving eastbound when he allegedly broadsided a Lincoln Town Car and rear-ended a parked Ram pickup truck. The force of the impact killed Marlene Luu, age 66; Hoa Ho, age 68; and Tu Nguyen, age 41. The crash also injured three men in the car, ages 72, 42 and 67.
The occupants of the car, all of whom were relatives, were leaving a Sweet 16 party at the Inn in New Hyde Park.
The defendant was arrested by members of the Nassau County Police Department.
Deputy Bureau Chief Katie Zizza and Senior Assistant District Attorney Alexandra Cusano of the Vehicular Crimes Bureau are prosecuting this case. The defendant is represented by Robert Gottlieb, Esq.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.