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Accused drunken driver shows no remorse in court, victim's family says

Sean Ludwick, 42, is seen on his way

Sean Ludwick, 42, is seen on his way to court Monday morning, Aug. 31, 2015. Ludwick was arraigned at Southampton Town Justice Court on charges of driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident on Sunday, Aug. 30. Credit: John Roca

The family of a Sag Harbor real estate broker killed in an alleged drunken driving crash last week said they were not surprised after seeing the driver -- who police say left his passenger to die on the side of the road -- count a stack of cash before appearing in front of a judge Friday.

Sean Ludwick, 42, a real estate developer, has been charged with driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of the Aug. 30 accident that killed his passenger, Paul Hansen.

He showed up for a brief procedural matter in Southampton Town Justice Court on Friday morning wearing sunglasses while he sat in the back row of the courtroom, appearing "bored" while flipping through the wad, a friend of the victim's family said.

"We have come to expect nothing from Mr. Ludwick. No humanity. No sympathy. And certainly no empathy. It is clear Mr. Ludwick has no remorse for our brother Paul Hansen," Tom Morrissey, the victim's brother-in-law, said in a statement.

Daniel J. Ollen, a Manhattan-based defense attorney representing Ludwick, rebuffed claims that his client was acting callous in court.

"If he was reading the Bible, he would be vilified for that," Ollen said Saturday. "The man is sad, he is remorseful, he is distraught ... I think this is a tragedy for everybody concerned."

Ludwick, who owns homes in Sag Harbor and Manhattan and heads New York City-based BlackHouse Development, was driving on Rolling Hill Court East in Sag Harbor Sunday around 2 a.m. when his 2013 Porsche smashed into a utility pole at a curve in the road, Southampton Town police have said.

After the impact, Ludwick continued driving several blocks until the damaged car came to a stop on Woodvale Street, police have said. Hansen, 53, was found dead at the crash scene by police.

Ludwick, when approached by officers after the accident, was standing unsteadily outside his car, police have said. A police report stated that a "strong odor of an alcoholic beverage was emanating from his breath, his speech was slurred and slow, his eyes were bloodshot, glossy, and hooded or partially closed."

Hansen's family members and colleagues, including his brother, Robert Hansen, have described Paul, a broker at Douglas Elliman's Sag Harbor office, as an admirable father and "a wonderful provider for his wife and family." Dottie Herman, president and chief executive of Douglas Elliman, recalled Paul's "thirst for adventure that was contagious."

About 3,500 people showed up to a wake that was held Wednesday at Yardley & Pino Funeral Home on Hampton Street in Sag Harbor, said Ken Yardley, the funeral director and owner, who is also a friend of Hansen. The crowd was so large it forced the service, supposed to be held from 5 to 8 p.m., to be extended until 11 p.m. The funeral held the next day at nearby St. Andrew's Roman Catholic Church, which has a capacity of 500 people, became standing room only, Yardley said.

"Everybody liked him, certainly. That explains why so many people were here," Yardley said Saturday of the wake that he described as the largest wake held in Sag Harbor history.

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