Oscar Ramirez, 30, pleaded guilty Friday to aggravated vehicular homicide, two counts of second-degree manslaughter and driving while intoxicated, prosecutors said. He is represented by the Nassau Legal Aid Society, which does not comment on client cases.
Acting Supreme Court Justice William Donnino agreed to sentence Ramirez to 5 to 15 years in prison at his next court date, July 26, in exchange for his plea, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said Ramirez was driving a Ford Windstar minivan north on the Wantagh State Parkway on April 30, 2011, when he sideswiped a Kia sedan just south of Hempstead Turnpike in East Meadow. The Kia -- with driver by Larry Scuteri, 49, of West Islip, and passenger Daniel Gambardella, 46, of North Babylon -- was pushed onto the east shoulder of the parkway and across the grass. It flew into the air and struck a tree, killing Scuteri and Gambardella instantly, police said.
Ramirez, who doesn't have a driver's license, admitted that he drank nine beers that night and had a blood-alcohol content of .10 percent more than two hours after the crash. Scuteri and Gambardella were on their way to Manhattan where both worked as members of the carpenters union.
"This is a devastating tragedy that could have easily been prevented if this defendant had chosen to put down his keys and call a cab," Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice said in a statement. "Unfortunately, Oscar Ramirez made a different choice, and he must now face the repercussions of that decision."