I'm not for drunken driving. But I'm sickened when reality and facts lose all meaning because political correctness is involved.
The tragedy on the North Fork is an example ["Call to limit limo U-turns," News, July 26]. This accident was caused by the limousine driver, Carlos Pino. Yet, because Steven Romeo, the pickup driver, drank beer, he's being given all of the blame.
The facts show no evidence that this was caused by alcohol. Romeo's blood-alcohol content was 0.066 an hour and 40 minutes after the crash. He wasn't arrested at the scene; he walked away after speaking to the police.
A witness reports seeing the pickup truck before the limo turned in front of it ["Other evidence seen as key," News, July 25]. Did the beer Romeo consumed cause Pino to make the U-turn right there and then? It was even reported that Pino made a legal U-turn. How can it be appropriate to make a U-turn into oncoming traffic?
It takes seconds for a limo to pull in front of you. Airplane Capt. Chesley Sullenberger himself could not have stopped this crash. Alcohol could have possibly contributed to the stopping time, but it was clearly not the reason for the crash or sad deaths of these women.
Jeff Goldman, West Babylon
Though there has been talk about placing a traffic signal at the intersection of Route 48 and Depot Lane ["Light was planned where limo crashed," News, July 22], how about considering a large roundabout that would accommodate any sized limousine or commercial vehicle?
Vineyard 48, the women's last stop for the day, might be encouraged or required to absorb some of the cost.
Robert Whyte, Baldwin
Installing a stoplight at the sight of the Cutchogue intersection where four friends tragically lost their lives is long overdue. But the much-needed installation should not be contingent upon PSEG Long Island first doing work on the site when energy usage drops at the end of the summer.
Bob Buscavage, Moriches
Newsday has done everything to sensationalize the fatal limo accident. Every headline is aimed at grabbing your attention while convicting the driver of the pickup truck: "Upgraded charges likely" [News, July 20] and "Pickup driver drank beer at home" [News, July 21].
These headlines paint a picture for the reader of drunken driving. When the reader finally gets to the story, it tells of a witness who thinks the limo may have pulled into the path of the pickup truck!
The limo driver says he did not see the pickup. District Attorney Thomas Spota says that it's "unclear whether Romeo committed the crime of leaving the scene of an accident," yet he "remained at the scene for about 15 minutes" and spoke to the police
There is so much that is unclear.
George A. Szarmach, Dix Hills
Newsday has its special-interest groups and tries to convict people instead of waiting for the facts and the legal justice system.
The newspaper's latest act of injustice was reporting on the limo accident. Newsday's headlines practically tried and convicted the driver of the pickup truck for DWI, even though there were no facts to back it up.
Now we learn that this man was not legally intoxicated when he was tested. I believe this was just an accident, caused by the bad judgment of the limo driver and not having the proper traffic lights in place.
Lynn Busch, Bay Shore
Driver Steven Romeo may have crashed into those four young women when the pickup truck he was driving (with beer in his belly) crashed into the side of their limo. But if the eyewitness account is accurate, he may not have been the cause of the accident.
The limo driver was apparently attempting to make a dangerous U-turn and pulled his vehicle directly into the path of the oncoming truck. Even a sober driver might not have had enough time to avoid the crash.
Limo driver Carlos Pino says he didn't see the truck. Maybe he didn't look both ways, like we've all been taught since childhood. The truck driver should still be locked up, for having gotten behind the wheel after drinking some beer, but perhaps his cellmate ought to be the limo driver.
Richard Siegelman, Plainview