Nassau County sentences two impaired drivers involved in fatal crashes resulting in 5 deaths

Two families, who were victims of separate DWI crashes on Long Island, were left emotional after the men responsible for their devastation received their sentences in court.

A tragic incident involving a drunk driver left a husband and wife dead after the perpetrator reached speeds of nearly 100 mph. In another heart-wrenching case, three family members were killed on their way home from a Sweet 16 celebration when they were hit by a drunk driver. These incidents serve as a harsh reminder of the dangers of driving under the influence.

Sotirios Spanos received a sentence for his involvement in the case.

A tragic incident occurred in August, claiming the lives of a young married couple.

When he hit and killed Ismenia and Odalis Urena, Spanos was driving while intoxicated and speeding, with a blood alcohol level twice the legal limit.

Last year, he pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide, manslaughter, assault, and DWI, which led to his imprisonment for seven to 21 years.

According to prosecutors, the couple’s Ferrari convertible was hit by Spanos, who was driving under the influence of alcohol and crossed the yellow line on Northern Boulevard.

According to authorities, the car driven by Spanos was traveling at a speed of around 100 mph a mere 2.5 seconds before the accident. It was estimated to be going at a speed of about 85 mph at the moment of impact.

Both aged 37, the couple left two young children behind who are now being raised by their aunts and uncles.

“My siblings and I raised our kids as one unit, with the understanding that they are all siblings. They have always been sisters and brothers, and we didn’t know that we were preparing them for a day like this,” shared Crismairy Rodriguez, Ismenia’s sister. She added, “Isme and Jose were known to be extremely friendly and helpful individuals. They never hesitated to lend a listening ear or a comforting shoulder to anyone in need.”

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The defense attorney representing Spanos conveyed that his client is filled with remorse, but strongly believes that the punishment does not align with the gravity of the crime committed.

Defense attorney Steven Epstein expressed his opinion that a more lenient sentence would have been fitting considering his client’s exemplary behavior and character.

On Monday, a man was sentenced to six to 18 years in prison for an unrelated case.

In May 2022, they departed from a Sweet 16 party.

Dante Lennon, who was behind the wheel of the Mercedes Benz that crashed into a Lincoln Town Car in New Hyde Park, was reportedly intoxicated at the time of the accident. The victims of the fatal crash were identified as Ho Hua (68), Tu Nguyen (41), and Marlene Lu (66), who were all in the Lincoln at the time of the collision.

According to Nassau District Attorney Anne Donnelly, Marlene had dedicated years of her life working in a garment factory to improve the lives of her children. She was eagerly anticipating the prospect of retirement.

In court, Lennon was overcome with emotion and offered a sincere apology to the family.

Defense attorney Robert Schalk stated that his client has been eager to take responsibility for the events that occurred during the past two years.

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