A Lindenhurst man was speeding and impaired by marijuana and Xanax when he crashed his Ford Mustang last fall, killing two passengers and injuring a third, Suffolk prosecutors said.
Authorities unsealed a 17-count grand jury indictment in District Court in Central Islip on Friday against David O’Brien, stemming from the Oct. 9, 2017, crash in Lindenhurst.
O’Brien, 18, pleaded not guilty to charges that include aggravated vehicular homicide, vehicular manslaughter and driving while impaired by drugs. If convicted of the top charges, O’Brien faces up to 25 years in prison, prosecutors said.
“The defendant was operating a motor vehicle impaired by Xanax and marijuana,” said Brendan Ahern, chief of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Vehicular Crime Bureau. “He drove that car recklessly and he killed two people.”
O’Brien’s attorney, George Duncan, called the crash a “tragedy” and said his client maintains his innocence.
State Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho ordered O’Brien held on $75,000 cash or $150,000 bond and suspended his license. O’Brien immediately posted bond.
“He’s obviously devastated,” Duncan said of O’Brien outside court. “It’s a tragedy. There are two people that are gone.”
Joseph Galdorisi, 16, a Lindenhurst High School student who was sitting in the front passenger seat, died at the scene, while Maggie Miller, 24, of Copiague, who was sitting in the back seat, died hours later.
The other passenger, Daniel Ozarowski, 16, of Lindenhurst, suffered serious facial lacerations, a broken nose and a spinal fracture, Ahern said.
Galdorisi’s parents and three sisters were in court Friday and said O’Brien has shown no remorse for his actions.
Anthony Galdorisi said the defendant should get life in prison.
“Two fatalities,” he said. “I don’t care if he’s only 18. He’s alive. My son is in the ground.”
Amanda Galdorisi, 29, said her brother deserves justice.
“He didn’t deserve any of this,” added sister Kristina Galdorisi, 18. “If I could I would take his place.”
Police said O’Brien was driving his red 1998 Ford Mustang south on North Wellwood Avenue at 5:25 a.m. when the vehicle left the roadway, jumped the curb and struck a fire hydrant, dislodging it and sending it flying 60 feet down the road, prosecutors said. The vehicle continued down the road before finally smashing into a tree, officials said.
The vehicle was so badly damaged that bystanders who rushed to the scene had to pull the two backseat passengers out through the shattered back windshield while firefighters removed the front doors of the car to free O’Brien and Galdorisi, according to police.
Witnesses said they saw O’Brien driving erratically and recklessly before the crash, prosecutors said.
Ahern said blood tests showed O’Brien had smoked marijuana and taken Xanax before the crash. The drugs were also found in the vehicle, officials said.
A police analysis of the crash showed O’Brien was driving at least 50 mph in an area with a speed limit of 30 mph and did not apply his brakes before the crash, Ahern said.
O’Brien is due back in court Aug. 16.
Correction: An earlier version of this story gave the wrong date of the October 2017 crash.