MINEOLA, N.Y. – Acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced upgraded charges against a Lynbrook driver accused of traveling at a very high rate of speed while under the influence of drugs when he slammed into the rear of a vehicle at a Sunrise Highway traffic light, killing the vehicle’s driver and his passenger.
John Aniano, 25, of Lynbrook, was arraigned on an indictment today before Acting Nassau Supreme Court Justice Patricia Harrington on the following charges:
Justice Harrington continued the bail at $1,000,000 bond or $500,000 cash. The Appellate Division, Second Department had previously rejected an attempt by the defense to have the bail lowered. If convicted of the top charge, Aniano faces a maximum sentence of 8-1/3 to 25 years in prison. He is due back in court on March 27.
“Sharon Rene Long and John Jones were simply stopped at a traffic light at 8 o’clock in the evening when their lives were stolen in this violent crash,” Acting DA Singas said. “These innocent victims and the allegations of outrageously reckless and impaired driving represent the reason why my office continues to emphasize the prosecution of vehicular crimes as a significant threat to residents of Nassau County.”
Acting DA Singas said that on Jan. 12 at 8:13 p.m., Aniano was operating his 2004 Mercedes Benz westbound on Sunrise Highway in Lynbrook at a high rate of speed when he crashed into the back of a 2005 Toyota which was stopped at a red traffic signal and being operated by John Jones with Sharon Rene Long in the front passenger seat.
The victims’ vehicle was propelled into the eastbound lanes where it struck the driver’s side of a 2007 Toyota traveling eastbound.
Ms. Long was pronounced dead at the scene. Mr. Jones was transported to South Nassau Communities Hospital where he died of his injuries. The driver of the 2007 Toyota was transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Aniano was observed by police as being under the influence of drugs. He was arrested by the Nassau County Police Department.
Assistant District Attorneys Michael Bushwack and Katie Zizza of Acting DA Singas’ Vehicular Crimes Bureau are prosecuting the case. Aniano is represented by Ben Gullo, Esq.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.