Victims identified in triple fatal crash in New Hyde Park; alleged drunk driver arraigned
The three victims of a fatal crash in New Hyde Park late Saturday have been identified.
The grandmother, great aunt and cousin of the girl who was celebrating her Sweet 16 at the Inn at New Hyde Park were killed when police say a drunk driver hit a Lincoln Town Car.
Police say Donte Lennon, 22 of Freeport, was speeding and driving drunk in a Mercedes when he slammed into the town car on Jericho Turnpike.
Marlene Lu, 66, Ho Hua, 68 and Tu Nguyen, 41 were pronounced dead at the scene. Lu is the grandmother of the girl celebrating the Sweet 16, and Hua is her great aunt. They are both from Woodside. Nguyen is the girl's cousin, and she is from North Carolina.
Martin Drozario says it was "very, very sad news" to hear that his longtime neighbor, Lu, died in the collision.
"She was a very good neighbor with us, always a smiling face," Drozario says.
Three male family members were injured in the collision as well and hospitalized.
Lennon was also taken to the hospital for injuries and was arraigned at his bedside on Monday.
He pleaded not guilty to a slew of charges, including DWI, manslaughter and vehicular manslaughter.
Police say Lennon's blood alcohol level was at .088, just above the legal limit.
Lennon has never been arrested before, but police say he has minor traffic infractions - including speeding.
People in the area says they need more police patrolling the area to prevent another accident from happening.
"It's concerning because all we hear is speeding cars driving down Jericho," says New Hyde Park resident Ryme Bakar. "I feel like something should be done."