A restaurant owner who prosecutors said drove from his establishment after drinking up to 10 servings of beer and fatally struck a Melville couple in Massapequa Park has pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter, officials said.
John Hartwig, 63, of East Massapequa, pleaded guilty before Nassau County Court Judge Robert Bogle Monday to first-degree manslaughter for his role in the April 22 deaths of Barbara and Melvyn Glickman.
The Glickmans, both 77, were killed as they crossed the street shortly after 8 p.m. after a night out dining.
Hartwig also pleaded guilty to two counts of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, officials said.
“This defendant admitted to drinking 10 beers at a bar before getting behind the wheel around 8 p.m. and he stole the lives of Mr. and Mrs. Glickman, who were simply coming from dinner,” said Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas in a news release. “The defendant’s criminal actions have caused the Glickman family an unspeakable loss.”
Hartwig is expected to be sentenced to 3 1⁄2 to 10 1⁄2 years in prison when he returns to court March 13, prosecutors said.
His attorney, William Petrillo of Garden City, later emailed a statement saying: “After carefully considering numerous factors, Mr. Hartwig made a well-informed decision to accept responsibility. He remains deeply remorseful.”
Hartwig was driving east on Merrick Road in Massapequa Park in a 2015 white Ford Explorer when he struck the couple, who were crossing to the south side of Merrick Road just east of Park Boulevard while walking to their car after dining at a restaurant, officials said.
Authorities said Hartwig registered a blood alcohol concentration of .13 percent after the crash. The legal limit is .08 percent. He later said he had drunk 10 beers at the bar he owns, McQuade’s in Lynbrook.
CORRECTION: The name of Nassau County Court Judge Robert Bogle was misspelled in a previous version of this story.