Oscar Argueta was taken into custody at the Nassau County...

Oscar Argueta was taken into custody at the Nassau County Courthouse in Mineola on Wednesday after he was sentenced for the crash that killed David Popoola. Credit: James Carbone

It wasn’t until days after Ebahiri Okhiria awoke in the hospital still in pain from life-threatening injuries from a drunken driving crash that she was told her husband was gone, and she understood her life changed forever.

David Popoola, 48, the father of her two children, died instantly when the other driver, Oscar Argueta T-boned the couple’s Mercedes-Benz near Curtis Street as he rocketed down Greenwich Avenue in Hempstead at 93 mph on July 26, 2022.

Argueta, a resident of Hicksville, who had been at a bar drinking Jack and Cokes, pleaded guilty last December to aggravated vehicular homicide, vehicular manslaughter and assault. Yesterday, a judge sentenced him to 4 to 12 years in prison for the crash.

Okhiria told a Nassau County Court judge that it doesn’t matter how sorry her husband’s killer may be or what sentence is handed down — she would never recover from the loss.

“As I am today, I am a broken person, who has lost all sense of normalcy,” Okhiria told the court. “A person who grieves the loss of my husband, David, not only for myself, but most especially for our children, who will never get the chance to experience what it’s like to have him as a father … [Argueta] stole not only the life of David, but the normalcy, peace, stability, sanity and happiness of an entire family and community. The trauma and devastation that he caused with the killing of my husband is irreversible.”

On the night of the crash, Argueta, who has three children, had just come from a bar where he was drinking Jack and Cokes, according to Nassau County Assistant District Attorney Katie Zizza. His blood alcohol content was 0.09% — two points over the legal limit, she said.

The impact of his speeding SUV sent the Mercedes into the curb, flipping the car into a utility pole and killing Popoola on impact.

The crash almost severed Okhiria’s right arm. She suffered a detached collarbone, punctured lung and several broken ribs.

“He issued a death sentence to an innocent 47-year-old father of two toddlers and turned me into a widow who may never regain the full use of her right hand and continuously struggles to raise two fatherless children,” the widow said.

Okhiria recalled Popoola as a good provider for the family and a caring father who worked hard during the week, but reserved the weekends for his children and his faith.

“The weekends were family time. On Saturdays we spent the day together, and Sundays were dedicated to church,” she said. “I expected to live a long and happy life with David. We loved each other so much. I truly believe that it was God who brought him into my life.”

Argueta’s family, who filled half of the courtroom, also wept as Okhiria spoke.

Prosecutors acknowledged he had no prior criminal record and took full responsibility for his crime. Zizza asked the judge to sentence him to 7 to 21 years in prison for the top charge of aggravated vehicular homicide.

“I stand in this court today expressing how sorry I am for the pain that I have caused,” Argueta said. “This is heavily on my heart and there are no words that will describe the depth of my remorse. I wish that I could turn back the hands of time, but I am committed to learning from what I have done.”

Justice Robert McDonald offered his condolences to the grieving widow, but acknowledged his sentence would not bring her any relief.

There’s nothing I can do to bring your loving husband back,” he said. “I know that what happens here will seem unfair.”

McDonald also admonished Argueta that his remorse does not change the imbalance of the impact of the crash.

“Just because you didn’t intend to do this, the result is just the same,” the judge told Argueta. “You are going to be able to comfort your wife, you are going to be able to comfort your children but there’s another family that will not have that because of your actions.”

He sentenced Argueta to 4 to 12 years in prison for the aggravated vehicular homicide, to run concurrently with a sentence of 3 to 9 years for manslaughter and 3 to 5 years for assault in the second degree.

Okhiria agreed the sentence changes little in her life going forward.

“No matter how many years Mr. Oscar Argueta serves incarcerated, he will never understand nor feel the pain, sadness and fear that I am experiencing because he decided to drink and drive,” Okhiria said, her voice cracking with emotion. “I will bear the scar — both physical and mental — of his recklessness throughout the rest of my life.”

It wasn’t until days after Ebahiri Okhiria awoke in the hospital still in pain from life-threatening injuries from a drunken driving crash that she was told her husband was gone, and she understood her life changed forever.

David Popoola, 48, the father of her two children, died instantly when the other driver, Oscar Argueta T-boned the couple’s Mercedes-Benz near Curtis Street as he rocketed down Greenwich Avenue in Hempstead at 93 mph on July 26, 2022.

Argueta, a resident of Hicksville, who had been at a bar drinking Jack and Cokes, pleaded guilty last December to aggravated vehicular homicide, vehicular manslaughter and assault. Yesterday, a judge sentenced him to 4 to 12 years in prison for the crash.

Okhiria told a Nassau County Court judge that it doesn’t matter how sorry her husband’s killer may be or what sentence is handed down — she would never recover from the loss.

“As I am today, I am a broken person, who has lost all sense of normalcy,” Okhiria told the court. “A person who grieves the loss of my husband, David, not only for myself, but most especially for our children, who will never get the chance to experience what it’s like to have him as a father … [Argueta] stole not only the life of David, but the normalcy, peace, stability, sanity and happiness of an entire family and community. The trauma and devastation that he caused with the killing of my husband is irreversible.”

On the night of the crash, Argueta, who has three children, had just come from a bar where he was drinking Jack and Cokes, according to Nassau County Assistant District Attorney Katie Zizza. His blood alcohol content was 0.09% — two points over the legal limit, she said.

The impact of his speeding SUV sent the Mercedes into the curb, flipping the car into a utility pole and killing Popoola on impact.

The crash almost severed Okhiria’s right arm. She suffered a detached collarbone, punctured lung and several broken ribs.

“He issued a death sentence to an innocent 47-year-old father of two toddlers and turned me into a widow who may never regain the full use of her right hand and continuously struggles to raise two fatherless children,” the widow said.

Ebahiri Okhiria, the widow of DWI crash victim David Popoola,...

Ebahiri Okhiria, the widow of DWI crash victim David Popoola, appears outside the Nassau County Courthouse in Mineola on Wednesday. Credit: James Carbone

Okhiria recalled Popoola as a good provider for the family and a caring father who worked hard during the week, but reserved the weekends for his children and his faith.

“The weekends were family time. On Saturdays we spent the day together, and Sundays were dedicated to church,” she said. “I expected to live a long and happy life with David. We loved each other so much. I truly believe that it was God who brought him into my life.”

Argueta’s family, who filled half of the courtroom, also wept as Okhiria spoke.

Prosecutors acknowledged he had no prior criminal record and took full responsibility for his crime. Zizza asked the judge to sentence him to 7 to 21 years in prison for the top charge of aggravated vehicular homicide.

“I stand in this court today expressing how sorry I am for the pain that I have caused,” Argueta said. “This is heavily on my heart and there are no words that will describe the depth of my remorse. I wish that I could turn back the hands of time, but I am committed to learning from what I have done.”

Justice Robert McDonald offered his condolences to the grieving widow, but acknowledged his sentence would not bring her any relief.

There’s nothing I can do to bring your loving husband back,” he said. “I know that what happens here will seem unfair.”

McDonald also admonished Argueta that his remorse does not change the imbalance of the impact of the crash.

“Just because you didn’t intend to do this, the result is just the same,” the judge told Argueta. “You are going to be able to comfort your wife, you are going to be able to comfort your children but there’s another family that will not have that because of your actions.”

He sentenced Argueta to 4 to 12 years in prison for the aggravated vehicular homicide, to run concurrently with a sentence of 3 to 9 years for manslaughter and 3 to 5 years for assault in the second degree.

Okhiria agreed the sentence changes little in her life going forward.

“No matter how many years Mr. Oscar Argueta serves incarcerated, he will never understand nor feel the pain, sadness and fear that I am experiencing because he decided to drink and drive,” Okhiria said, her voice cracking with emotion. “I will bear the scar — both physical and mental — of his recklessness throughout the rest of my life.”

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