The Queens man charged with DWI in a fatal crash last month was caught on video throwing a bottle of tequila into the woods before leaving a father and his two children to die in their burning car, the Suffolk district attorney's office said yesterday.
Oniel Sharpe Jr. and three other men are scheduled to be arraigned on indictment charges Thursday in the July 12 deaths of Ancio Ostane, 37, Andy, 8, and Sephora, 4, a family from St. Albans, Queens.
Only Ostane's wife and the children's mother, Lucnie Bouaz-Ostane, survived after Sharpe rear-ended the family Toyota and was driven away by a friend who was following him in another vehicle after they left a party, authorities said.
The video shows Sharpe, parked near the wreck on the Southern State Parkway, taking a bottle from the rear seat of a BMW sport utility vehicle and tossing it into the woods, District Attorney Thomas Spota said in a news release. Investigators retrieved the tequila bottle, he said.
It was not clear where the video came from, but State Police, who investigated the case, said motorists took cellphone videos at the 1:30 a.m. crash to help authorities catch the fleeing driver.
The indictment of Sharpe, of Springfield Gardens, Queens, will include charges unrelated to the crash, authorities said. He was arrested hours after the crash at the home of the BMW's registered owner and accused of leaving the scene of a fatal accident, a felony, and driving while intoxicated, a misdemeanor.
Stewart, who prosecutors said had driven Sharpe around for hours until evidence of his intoxication "disappeared," was initially charged with leaving the scene of an accident and two misdemeanors, third-degree hindering prosecution and fourth-degree criminal facilitation.
Spota did not name the other two men indicted but said they are expected to surrender Thursday at First District Court in Central Islip for arraignment.
Sharpe is out on bond. Stewart is held on $100,000 cash bail, prosecutors said.
Spota and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone will press state lawmakers to approve a bill to increase the maximum penalty from 7 to 15 years for hit-and-run drivers leaving a fatal accident.