Sotirios Spanos leaves Nassau Police Headquarters in Mineola for arraignment at...

Sotirios Spanos leaves Nassau Police Headquarters in Mineola for arraignment at First District Court in Hempstead in August 2023. Credit: James Carbone

A Syosset man pleaded guilty Tuesday to aggravated vehicular homicide for a high-speed crash that killed a husband and wife in Laurel Hollow in August, the Nassau County District Attorney's Office said.

Sotirios Spanos, 33, admitted he was driving drunk on Northern Boulevard at more than 100 mph shortly after midnight on Aug. 12, 2023, when he crossed into oncoming traffic and struck the front passenger side of the convertible of Ismenia and Odalis Urena, both 37 and of Syosset. Spanos is expected to get between 7 and 21 years in prison at sentencing in June, prosecutors said.

"[The Urenas] were a young, successful couple with two daughters and many years of happiness ahead of them, but all of that was erased when this defendant struck the Urenas’ vehicle head-on that August morning and killed them,” Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly said. “Spanos was hurtling around the curves of Northern Boulevard at 100 miles an hour while two times the legal limit for alcohol. His reckless and selfish choices orphaned two girls and shattered a family.”

In addition to the top charge, Spanos pleaded guilty before Judge Howard Sturim to two counts of second-degree manslaughter, two counts of second-degree assault and driving while intoxicated.

Spanos' attorney, Steven Epstein, of Garden City, said his client “accepted responsibility from the start and has shown remorse for the consequences of his actions in the tragedy.”

“No punishment can undo the harm he caused,” Epstein said. “By taking responsibility and avoiding a trial, he hopes to bring closure and avoid any further harm to the Urena family as well as his own loving and supportive family.”

Spanos is due back in court for sentencing June 17.

Prosecutors said the Urenas were traveling west near Moores Hill Road when Spanos, who had been headed east, drove into their lane and struck them head-on, before driving over their car.

Data from Spanos' 2023 Acura MDX indicated he was still driving more than 100 mph 2.5 seconds before the crash, prosecutors said. Braking 1.5 seconds before the crash, his vehicle made impact at about 85 mph, according to the data.

Ismenia Urena was pronounced dead at the scene, prosecutors said. Odalis Urena was taken to Huntington Hospital, where he was pronounced dead about an hour later.

Spanos' blood alcohol level was still twice the legal limit more than three hours after the crash, prosecutors said.

Spanos was arrested on the day of the crash by members of the Oyster Bay Cove Police Department and the Nassau County Police Department’s Homicide Squad.

The Urenas’ deaths followed a spate of fatal crashes in Nassau County in last August allegedly caused by alcohol- and drug-impaired drivers. Four people were killed on Aug. 6 in East Massapequa by a driver allegedly high on cocaine and fentanyl, Nassau prosecutors said. The next day, an alleged drunken driver slammed into a parked car in West Hempstead, killing a 6-year-old girl sitting in the back seat.

At Spanos' arraignment last August, the Urenas' supporters wore T-shirts with a photo of the couple on the front and “Justices [sic] for Ismenia and Odalis” on the back. Prosecutors have said the Urenas had gone out on a date the night of the crash.

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