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Judge agrees to release grand jury testimony in fatal crash case

On July 18, 2015, four women were killed and four other women were injured when the rented limousine they were riding in was struck by another motor vehicle. The limousine driver is facing criminal charges after he allegedly made a U-turn without being able to clearly see if there was oncoming traffic. The driver whose vehicle struck the limousine has also been charged in connection with the accident. He is facing one charge of driving while impaired and one charge of driving while intoxicated.

Recently, the judge hearing the limousine driver's case ordered the grand jury testimony released to the defendant's attorneys. The judge described his ruling as a "rare occurrence," he said that the defendant's attorneys needed to "cite actual testimony" from witness accounts and data from crash reconstruction when building the man's defense case. He is facing charges for several traffic infractions, reckless driving, four counts of assault and four counts of criminally negligent homicide.

The now 59-year-old limo driver was hired to drive the women, ages 23 to 25, around while they celebrated a bachelorette party. They had spent the afternoon at various wine tasting locations and were headed home when the crash occurred.

The now-55-year-old man whose vehicle struck the limo was also indicted by a grand jury. His case continues and his next court date is Sept. 7. The district attorney said that the man could not have avoided the limousine even if he had been completely sober.

While there have been many residents of the area who want a green directional arrow at the intersection, Suffolk County said that there is currently no plan to add one even though a traffic signal was just recently added.

The accident was the worst the residents of North Folk has ever seen and there have also been crises for more police enforcement on Route 48's dangerous intersections in Southold Town.

The motions of defense attorneys can have an important effect on criminal charges such as the ones facing the limousine driver. If you are charged similarly, your attorneys may wish to be able to review the grand jury indictment testimony as well. This infrequent decision by the judge will no doubt be helpful to the man's defense team.

Source: Suffolk Times, "Grand jury testimony in fatal limo crash released to attorneys," Jen Nuzzo, July 12, 2016

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