Dante Lennon makes his way into a Mineola courtroom in...

Dante Lennon makes his way into a Mineola courtroom in July 2022 for his arraignment.  Credit: Newsday/Bridget Murphy

A Freeport drunken driver who in 2022 slammed into a livery car holding family members coming from a Sweet Sixteen party, killing three of its passengers and injuring three others, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Nassau County Court.

Dante Lennon, 23, admitted to barreling down Jericho Turnpike at twice the 35 mph speed limit in his Mercedez-Benz with a blood alcohol content just above the legal limit on May 21, 2022, and crashing into a black Lincoln Town Car carrying the partygoers coming from The Inn at New Hyde Park.

The mother of the party organizer, Marlene Luu, 66, died in the impact, along with Hoa Ho, 68, and Tu Nguyen, 41. Three men — 42, 67 and 72 — were injured.

Lennon, who was also injured, remained at the scene.

“A sweet sixteen party should be a cherished memory for family, but because of this defendant’s reckless and callous disregard for other motorists, it will instead be remembered as an unbelievable tragedy,” Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly said in a statement.

In response to the crash, Nassau County PoliceCommissioner Patrick Ryder vowed at the time to “take back our roads” and crack down on drunk drivers ahead of the Labor Day weekend.

Lennon pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, three counts of manslaughter, three counts of assault and drunken driving. He faced 25 years behind bars, but will likely get less than that because of the plea.

“It was a very sad day for everyone involved,” Lennon’s lawyer, Robert Schalk, said. “Dante took responsibility for his part in the crash and avoided the maximum sentence available.”

The district attorney’s office had recommended seven to 21 years in prison.

Lennon will be back in court on June 5.

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