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Long IslandCrime

DA: Man admits driving high, drunk in fatal Southern crash

Jonathan Sobrane, 36 of Freeport was in custody

Jonathan Sobrane, 36 of Freeport was in custody Wednesday, April 20, 2016, on charges of reckless driving and manslaughter in connection with an early Sunday crash on the Southern State Parkway that left a passenger dead, officials said. Credit: NY State Police

A Freeport man has admitted to driving drunk and high in a crash on the Southern Parkway last year that killed his friend and seriously injured two others, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Jonathan Sobrane, 37, pleaded guilty Monday before acting State Supreme Court Justice Helene Gugerty to aggravated vehicular homicide, two counts of second-degree assault, and operating a motor vehicle while impaired by combined use of drugs or of alcohol and any drug or drugs as a felony, according to the Nassau County district attorney’s office.

Sentencing is scheduled for May 8, and prosecutors are recommending 8 1⁄3 to 25 years in prison.

“Jonathan Sobrane’s impairment by alcohol and drugs — and reckless driving at speeds up to 90 mph — made the crash that killed 22-year-old Vito Errico inevitable,” District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a news release. “I am hopeful that the defendant’s guilty plea to the highest charge of aggravated vehicular homicide will give some small comfort to Mr. Errico’s family.”

Sobrane’s attorney, David W. Haber of Mineola, said in a telephone interview Tuesday that his client wanted to assume responsibility for his actions and help bring closure to the families of the victims. Haber said Sobrane sends his condolences to the families, and the lawyer noted that none of the original charges were dropped through his client entering the guilty plea.

During the accident, Errico, of Oceanside, was ejected from the backseat and was found with a light pole across his chest, Singas said.

Singas added that a 23-year-old woman in the passenger seat suffered a fractured femur and cuts that left her with an exposed skull. A 21-year-old man in the backseat sustained a broken arm and finger. Sobrane was not injured.

According to Singas, the crash happened on April 17 at about 3:40 a.m. when Sobrane was returning to Long Island from New York City driving east on the Southern State Parkway in a 2004 Acura.

Singas said toxicology tests revealed that Sobrane was impaired by drugs and was traveling at speeds of at least 90 mph, weaving across three lanes of traffic and driving in exit and entrance ramps to pass other motorists.

As the defendant changed lanes he clipped the back of a 2006 Toyota Highlander that also was traveling east and the collision caused Sobrane’s car to spin off the road, hit trees and uproot a light pole, Singas said.

State Police arrested Sobrane at the scene.


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