A judge slashed the bail Thursday for the pickup driver charged in a crash Saturday that killed four limousine passengers on a North Fork winery tour, according to the Suffolk district attorney's office.
Steven Romeo, 55, of Southold, is now held on $100,000 bond or $50,000 cash bail, down from $1 million bond or $500,000 cash on a misdemeanor charge of driving while intoxicated.
His attorney, who did not return calls, filed for a lower bail and prosecutors did not object.StoryPriest: Limo victim was 'like a shining star'VideoFuneral held for Lauren BaruchEditorialEditorial: Limo tragedy shows we need to get serious
The Southold Town judge also adjourned Romeo's scheduled court appearance today to Sept. 18.
Robert Clifford, a spokesman for the Suffolk district attorney's office, declined last night to say why prosecutors consented to the lower bail.
At a news conference Friday, District Attorney Thomas Spota is expected to give an update on the investigation.
Sunday, prosecutors said charges against Romeo, whose pickup truck slammed into the limo as it attempted a U-turn on Depot Lane in Cutchogue, would probably be upgraded.
A day later, during a news conference, Spota said that was uncertain. He added that investigators had learned from another driver that Romeo's pickup truck was visible and limousine driver Carlos Pino had turned right in front of it. Pino, 58, of Bethpage, had said he saw no oncoming traffic, prosecutors said.
Spota said Romeo told police he worked until noon Saturday, went home and drank beer after doing housework. Spota declined to say how much Romeo drank and results of a blood test have not been released.
The crash killed Amy Grabina, 23, of Commack; Stephanie Belli, 23, of Kings Park; Lauren Baruch, 24, of Smithtown; and Brittney Schulman, 23, of Smithtown. The other four passengers suffered serious injuries. Romeo was injured but walked away from the scene and was arrested nearby, police said.
He was expected to remain hospitalized at least through today, a hospital supervisor said.