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Survivor of Cutchogue limo crash sues drivers, companies involved

Olga Lipets, 24, of Brooklyn, seen in a

Olga Lipets, 24, of Brooklyn, seen in a photo provided by her family, is seeking damages for the serious injuries she suffered when the limo she was riding in collided with a pickup in Cutchogue on July 18, 2015. Photo Credit: Randee Daddona / Lipets family

One of the survivors of the July 18 limo crash that killed four young women is suing the two drivers and the companies involved, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday.

Olga Lipets, 24, of Brooklyn, seeks damages for the serious injuries she suffered when the limo she and seven other young women hired for a tour of the North Fork's wine country made a U-turn and collided with a pickup in Cutchogue.

Lipets has undergone surgery to set multiple fractures of her left leg and her jaw, which was broken and still is wired shut, said her attorney, Jason Paris of Brooklyn, who filed the lawsuit in state Supreme Court in Brooklyn.

His client had been attending graduate school, studying for a master's degree in speech language pathology, but has not been able to attend classes since the collision, the lawyer said.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages from the pickup driver, Steven Romeo, 55, of Southold; the company he co-owns, Romeo Dimon Marine Services Inc. of Southold; limo driver Carlos Pino, 58, of Bethpage; and his employer, Ultimate Class Limousine Inc. of Hicksville.

The crash killed Amy Grabina, 23, of Commack; Stephanie Belli, 23, of Kings Park; Lauren Baruch, 24, of Smithtown; and Brittney Schulman, 23, of Smithtown. Lipets and three other passengers were seriously injured.

Romeo pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge of driving while intoxicated at his arraignment on July 19. His bail recently was slashed to $100,000 bond or $50,000 cash, down from $1 million bond or $500,000 cash. Romeo's blood-alcohol level was 0.066 one hour and 40 minutes after the crash, below the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

The Cutchogue intersection where the limousine crash occurred has long been a concern to residents because of the convergence of vineyard-bound limousines making U-turns amid oncoming traffic on the rural road.

Romeo's attorney was not available Thursday night; Pino could not be reached.

Lipets' attorney said he was exploring whether the localities involved also should be held liable."We are in the process of investigating potential claims against local municipalities for neglecting roadway design," Paris said.

"There had been multiple complaints about the dangerous nature of this intersection," and demands to install a traffic light, the attorney said.

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