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Long IslandSuffolk

Cops: Teen hit by woman driving drunk with son

Joseph Marino, 15, was standing with his bicycle

Joseph Marino, 15, was standing with his bicycle at Ponquogue Avenue and Argonne Road East in Hampton Bays talking to friends when he was killed by a drunken driver. Photo Credit: Handout

A drunken Mattituck driver with her 6-year-old son in tow crashed into a 15-year-old boy on a Hampton Bays street, police said, leaving the teen clinging to life.

The accident happened during the same week that lawmakers called for harsher penalties for those who drive drunk with children.

Joseph Marino was standing with his bicycle at Ponquogue Avenue and Argonne Road East at about 8:40 p.m. Wednesday, talking to two friends, when Caroline Goss, 34, drove her 2001 Jeep Cherokee into him, police said.

Southampton Town police said Goss, a nurse, had her son with her and was intoxicated.

Marino suffered massive head injuries from the crash, which happened just minutes from his home, said Edmond Chakmakian of Hauppauge, the Marino family attorney and a family friend.

Marino was airlifted to Stony Brook University Medical Center as his distraught mother, Dorothy Marino, pulled up in her car, Chakmakian said. She had been worried when her son didn't return home from a friend's house and had set out to look for him, he said.

While Marino was awake at the scene, he slipped into unconsciousness and has not awakened since, Chakmakian said.

Thursday, Marino's distraught family gathered in the pediatric intensive care unit, where they absorbed the news that the boy is likely brain dead, Chakmakian said.

"His parents and brothers and cousins have maintained a constant vigil at his bedside," he said. "They are all destroyed."

Goss was arraigned Thursday on misdemeanor charges of driving while intoxicated and endangering the welfare of a child, and having an open container of alcohol in the car, a violation. Det. Sgt. Randy Hintze said it's possible those charges will be upgraded.

Just last month, authorities said, a drunken West Babylon mother with five children in her minivan plowed through wrong-way traffic on the Taconic State Parkway, killing herself, four of the children, and three men in another vehicle.

A neighbor of Goss who asked not to be named said Goss is a single mother of two boys, aged 6 and 10, who now are at her parents' home in Mattituck. Goss works the midnight shift at John T. Mather Memorial Hospital in Port Jefferson, and was a waitress on the weekends, the friend said.

"It's horrifying what happened," the friend said.

Goss could not be reached; she remained in jail Thursday in lieu of $20,000 bail.

A man who said he was Goss' father had no comment.

A Mather hospital spokesman confirmed Goss works in the critical care unit there.

Suffolk County Child Protective Services are now investigating the family, police said.

Driving records show that Goss had a previous conviction for driving while impaired in Riverhead in 2003, for which she paid a fine of $400. Records also show her license was on probation for six months in 2004.

Marino is an athletic teen, a wrestler who looked forward to trying out for the football team next year, Chakmakian said. He has a girlfriend and was about to start 11th grade at Hampton Bays High School.

"He was a very safe rider, loved to bike. It's a nice neighborhood place and an extremely well-lit road," Chakmakian said.

With Christina Hernandez and Mitchell Freedman

-Click here for photos from the crash scene

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