A Lynbrook driver accused of being high on drugs in a January crash that killed a Lynbrook couple was arraigned Wednesday on upgraded charges, the Nassau district attorney's office said.
John Aniano, 25, was indicted on two counts each of aggravated vehicular homicide, first-degree vehicular manslaughter, second-degree manslaughter and second-degree vehicular manslaughter. He was also indicted on operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs, reckless driving and second-degree reckless endangerment, prosecutors said.
Aniano told police he had "a glass of wine and smoked marijuana" before the Jan. 12 crash that killed driver John Jones, 54, and passenger Sharon Rene Long, 53, authorities said.PhotosRecent LI mug shotsDataLI crime stats
The couple's Toyota was stopped at a light on westbound Sunrise Highway in Lynbrook when Aniano's Mercedes-Benz slammed into them at a "high rate of speed," sending their car into the eastbound lanes, where the Toyota hit a third car, whose driver was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, authorities said.
Witnesses have told investigators that Aniano was driving at more than 100 mph, prosecutors said.
Aniano faces a maximum sentence of 8-1/3 to 25 years in prison on the top charge. He was held on bail of $1 million bond or $500,000 cash.
"Sharon Rene Long and John Jones were simply stopped at a traffic light at 8 o'clock in the evening when their lives were stolen in this violent crash," acting District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a news release.
Aniano's attorney could not be immediately reached Wednesday afternoon.
Aniano's father, also named John Aniano, said after the crash that his son was not in a "drug-induced rampage" at the time.
He said his son, whose ankle was broken and vertebrae fractured, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder several years ago and "apparently he had an episode" that might have been caused by an incorrect dosage of medicine.