The driver of a pickup truck tried to walk away after crashing into a limousine that killed four friends on Saturday, Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said at a Monday press conference.
Steven Romeo, 55, allegedly stayed at the scene for fifteen minutes before walking away, according to Spota. He continued to walk after being told by an officer, but was eventually stopped.
Romeo’s lawyer, Dan O’Brien, denied that his client tried to run from the scene.
The women were leaving a birthday party at Vineyard 48 when Romeo allegedly crashed into the limo they were riding in on Route 48 in Cutchogue on Saturday.
The driver of the limo was trying to make a u-turn when the crash occurred. According to Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Miller, Romeo was drunk and hit his brakes too late, slamming into the limo.
Before the crash Romeo worked until noon, went home and drank beer before getting into his vehicle, Spota said.
The dead were identified as Brittney Schulman, 23, and Lauren Baruch, 24, of Smithtown, Long Island; Stephanie Belli, 23, was from Kings Park, and Amy Grabina, 23, from Commack.
Romeo was arraigned at his bedside at Eastern Island Long Island Hospital on Sunday. He pleaded not guilty and remained hospitalized.
The driver faced one charge of driving while intoxicated. He was ordered to be held on $1 million bond or $500,000 cash bail. He will appear in court on Friday and the charges are expected to be upgraded, prosecutors said.