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Suffolk DA plans to release grand jury report on limo crash

The scene on Route 48 and Depot Lane

The scene on Route 48 and Depot Lane in Cutchogue, where a first responder said there were reports that a crash between a limousine and a pickup truck resulted in multiple fatalities on July 18, 2015. Credit: Randee Daddona

Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota plans to present a grand jury report that, he said in a news release, details the circumstances that led up the deaths of four women who were killed in a horrific limousine crash in Cutchogue last year.

The event is scheduled for noon at the Suffolk County district attorney’s office in the Suffolk County Court building on Center Drive in Riverhead.

Spota will announce the findings of the grand jury’s 156-page report on the July 18, 2015, crash that killed Amy Grabina, 23, of Commack; Stephanie Belli, 23, of Kings Park; and Lauren Baruch, 24, and Brittney Schulman, 23, both of Smithtown. Four other women were injured.

The presentation will address the “complete lack of regulation of stretch limousine construction, and the existence — to this day — of an inadequate traffic light at the historically dangerous intersection of County Road 48 and Depot Lane in Cutchogue,” according to the news release.

The event will also display photos of the limousine wreckage and what Spota termed a new stretch limousine’s “woefully inadequate” anti-intrusion bar, a passenger protection device.

The limo driver, Carlos Pino, 59, of Old Bethpage, was indicted on charges of criminally negligent homicide, misdemeanor assault and traffic offenses, but the indictment was thrown out in October by State Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho.

Camacho said prosecutors mounted an improper presentation that either left jurors confused or, he said, jurors simply did not follow the law.

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