Just before he was sent to prison, a 19-year-old New Hyde Park man begged forgiveness Friday from the family of a California man he killed in a crash.
“Please forgive me, please,” said Deepak Kumar in Nassau County Court, standing and facing the family of the victim, SirPierre Antoine, 55, of Richmond, California.
The Aug. 19, 2014, wreck in New Hyde Park also seriously injured Antoine’s wife and young daughter.
Prosecutors said Kumar drank alcohol and smoked marijuana at a nearby Long Island Rail Road station before getting behind the wheel.
“Make your life worthwhile. This is going to pass,” state Supreme Court Justice Robert McDonald told Kumar, but said of the Antoines: “Their pain is not going to pass.”
McDonald sentenced Kumar to 4 years in prison.
In January, Kumar pleaded guilty to charges including aggravated vehicular homicide, manslaughter and impaired driving.
The crash at Covert and Second avenues left Antoine’s daughter Soliana, then 6, with a broken leg, and spine and pelvic fractures. The victim’s wife, Marta Shawl-Antoine, 40, lost a kidney and suffered lung punctures, a severed artery and broken ribs.
Shawl-Antoine wept Friday as prosecutor Stephanie Dellinger read aloud a statement the widow had written about her and her daughter’s struggles since losing the man at the center of their lives. Soliana, now 8, walks with a limp, wears a leg brace and has extensive physical therapy ahead, her family said.
The girl joined her uncle, retired NYPD Det. Harry Antoine, at a court podium as he addressed the judge.
“Now with the help of a brace, she’s able to get around,” he said, adding that the family was hopeful Kumar would learn a lesson from his actions.
SirPierre Antoine was a supervisor for a California public bus company. The crash happened shortly after he visited his ill mother at a hospital.
Authorities said Kumar was speeding in a 2003 Toyota Camry when he ran a stop sign about 11:30 p.m. and plowed into the Antoines’ rented 2012 Ford Fusion.
Prosecutors asked for a 3-to-9-year sentence, but Shawl-Antoine also said Friday she had wanted the maximum sentence — between around 8 years and 25 years.
Kumar is a native of Pakistan and a 2014 graduate of New Hyde Park Memorial High School, and had enrolled in Nassau Community College before the crash.
After Friday’s sentencing, Kumar’s sobbing mother walked toward him with open arms and he asked the judge to allow a final embrace. The judge denied the request.
“He wanted to hug his mother,” defense attorney Michael DerGarabedian said later.
Instead of leaving, Kumar’s parents walked over to embrace Antoine’s family.
“I’m sorry,” Kumar’s mother told Marta Shawl-Antoine, as the women cried and hugged.
Harry Antoine said later his family had “no hatred” toward Kumar.
“I’m sure my brother, if he was here, he would say we’ll forgive him,” he said.