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Bellport man faces Leandra's Law charge in crash that injured young sons, police say

A Bellport man was arrested and charged with felony drunken driving under Leandra's Law after he overturned his sport utility vehicle on Nicolls Road in Holtsville on Wednesday, July 8, 2015, police said. (Credit: Stringer News Service)

A Bellport man was charged with felony drunken driving under Leandra's Law after he overturned his sport utility vehicle on a major Holtsville road Wednesday evening -- sending his two young sons to the hospital, Suffolk police said.

Kevin Nichols, 44, of 824 Doane Ave., was charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated, a felony, under Leandra's Law, driving while ability impaired by drugs and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

Suffolk County police said Nichols, his sons, ages 1 and 2, and an adult passenger in his SUV were all taken to Stony Brook University Hospital for treatment after the two-car crash, which occurred on southbound Nicolls Road just after 6 p.m. Nichols remains hospitalized, police said.

The children were later released to the custody of an unidentified family member.

The driver of the other vehicle, identified as Louis Villafane, 25, of North Bellport, was admitted to Stony Brook University Hospital with undisclosed injuries.

Police said Nichols was towing a small utility trailer full of "household items" when he lost control of his 2003 Mercury Mountaineer, causing it to overturn south of Portion Road. He now faces arraignment in First District Court in Central Islip at a later date.

Police said the investigation remains ongoing and asked anyone with information to call the Sixth Squad at 631-854-8652. The vehicle was impounded.

Leandra's Law is named for 11-year-old Leandra Rosado, who was killed in October 2009 when a car she was riding in, driven by a drunken driver, overturned on the Henry Hudson Parkway. The law, enacted in November 2009, makes it a felony, even on first offense, to drive drunk with a child who is 15 or younger in the vehicle.


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