Police have described it as one of the worst car accidents they have ever seen.
It was a Saturday, and eight young women were heading out on a wineries tour to celebrate. They had dressed up and hired a limo to make the day one to remember.
But by the end of the day, four of the girls would be dead — thanks to a man who allegedly should never have been behind the wheel.
The limousine was shuttling the young women around Long Island, New York when it was struck by a drunk driver. According to New York Daily News, the car was leaving a vineyard when a red ute ploughed into the side of the vehicle — nearly cutting it in half.
Three of the young women were killed on impact, with a fourth passing away in hospital.
Daily Mail reports these women were identified as Brittany Schulman, 23, Amy Grabina, 23, Lauren Baruch, 24, and Stephanie Belli, 23.
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At least three were members of a bridal party of a friend’s upcoming nuptials, and initial reports from police said the women were enjoying a bachelorette party — although police later clarified it to be a birthday party.
The bride-to-be, who is yet to be identified, and two other young women remain in hospital in a critical condition.
Witnesses were horrified by the sight of the fatal wreckage.
“The pickup truck was halfway through the limo,” witness Lynne Lulfs told New York Daily News. “We saw bodies hanging out of the left side of the car. They looked like young girls. It was just arms, and heads and hair.”
A 76-year-old motorist recalled the deadly silence that followed the incident.
“They had to die instantly. There was no noise. No screaming no shouting,” he said.
“This is one of the worst accidents I’ve ever seen,” Southold Police Chief Martin Flatley said.
He also described seeing two young women in black party dresses standing in shock, overlooking the scene.
The driver of the ute, 54-year-old Steve Romeo, reportedly attempted to flee the scene when police arrived, but was arrested nearby. He has been charged with driving while intoxicated.
Others involved in the crash were identified by the Daily Mail as Joelle Dimonte, 25, Melissa Angela Crai, 23, Alicia Arundel, 24 and Olga Lipets, 24, and the limo driver Carlos Pino, 58.
Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the crash victims.
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