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Long IslandCrime

Massapequa man pleads guilty in fatal Sunrise crash, DA says

Michael Bantel, 26, of Massapequa, pleaded guilty to

Michael Bantel, 26, of Massapequa, pleaded guilty to manslaughter Friday, May 13, 2016, in the crash that fatally injured his passenger. Nassau County investigators work over the site of the crash May 5, 2015, on Sunrise Highway in Massapequa. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

A Massapequa man admitted in court Friday that he caused the death of a passenger in his car when he crashed it into oncoming traffic on Sunrise Highway last year, prosecutors said.

Michael Bantel, 26, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the second degree, driving while ability impaired and assault, Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a news release.

The prosecutor said her office would recommend a prison term of 4 to 12 years when Bantel is sentenced next month by Supreme Court Justice Angelo Delligatti in Mineola.

Defense attorney Daniel Ollen of Manhattan said the judge has agreed to a sentence of 3 to 9 years, and that is expected to be the sentence imposed.

“It is a very sad day for all concerned,” Ollen said. “Michael Bantel is extremely remorseful for the family of the deceased.”

Bantel was driving east on Sunrise Highway in Massapequa about 4:45 a.m. on May 5, 2015, when his 2005 Nissan Maxima crossed the median onto westbound lanes, Singas said.

He smashed head-on into an oncoming 2014 Ford pickup truck, injuring the driver, and causing fatal injuries to the passenger in the front seat of Bantel’s car, Anthony Sylvia, 28, of East Meadow, Singas said.

“The defendant was impaired by more than one narcotic drug at the time of the crash,” prosecutors said in a news release.

The prosecutor said the driver of the pickup, a 37-year-old female, probably avoided more serious injury because she was driving the pickup instead of her regular sedan, which was being serviced that day.

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