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Letter: Crash survivor’s mother pleads for strict limo rules

The scene on Route 48 in Cutchogue in

The scene on Route 48 in Cutchogue in July 2015 after a collision between a pickup truck and a stretch limousine killed four women in the limo. Credit: Randee Daddona

Within just three years, New Yorkers have witnessed two senseless limousine crashes. As the mother of Joelle DiMonte, a survivor of the 2015 Cutchogue crash that killed four young women, I am outraged that safety regulations for stretch limousines have not been addressed, and that drivers are so careless [“20 dead in limo crash,” News, Oct. 8]!

Although the driver of the pickup truck in the Long Island crash pleaded guilty to driving while impaired, I believe that neither he nor the limousine driver was sanctioned appropriately for a tragedy that still wreaks psychological havoc on those left behind.

The survivors live with mixed emotions of guilt, thankfulness and sadness. Three years after we begged public officials for strict legislation to regulate stretch limousines, 20 lives were wasted in the crash in upstate Schoharie on Saturday. Is this complacency, negligence, bureaucracy or lack of motivation to change things?

It is inconceivable that the likes of such an accident happened again. It’s time to make more noise! Sensational coverage by some news media has not been enough to orchestrate change. I can’t do it alone, and I know that I won’t. I am taking the first steps to launch a campaign to urge our governor and local policy-makers to be proactive. Change the laws and emphasize accountability!

Elections are upon us, campaigns are heating up. Our elected officials are seeking new terms. Let’s act now before another tragedy occurs.

Nancy DiMonte, Elwood

Build on unused commercial lots

Developers are asking the Town of Smithtown to rezone 2.7 wooded acres at Route 347 and Browns Road in Nesconset for a Dunkin’ Donuts [“Dunkin’ by park proposed,” News, Sept. 25]. This is one more example of development that hurts Long Island’s environment. We cannot afford to lose one more mature tree. Plenty of open commercial lots could be revitalized by a new Dunkin’ Donuts. In addition, this land is zoned residential, and the franchise would upset a community of homes for commercial gain.

Steve Rolston, Baldwin

Editor’s note: The writer is a member of the Long Island chapter of the Sierra Club environmental organization.