What to Know
- A 15-year-old girl driving a stolen car with nine other people inside lost control and crashed on Long Island on Friday; three teens died
- Seven people -- a toddler and six teenagers -- were injured in the rollover crash but all are expected to survive, including the driver
- State police said other drivers told police the SUV was racing and weaving in and out of traffic before crashing
A lawyer for the 15-year-old girl cops said was behind the wheel of a stolen SUV that crashed on a Long Island parkway last week, killing three teens and leaving her injured, along with her 18-month-old daughter and six other people, called the case a tragedy, not a crime, at her arraignment on Monday.
The lawyer said Friday was "skip out of school day" for the teens and the group of 10 were headed to the beach at the time of the deadly SUV crash on the Meadowbrook State Parkway. According to the attorney, the group's designated driver was drunk or high so the 15-year-old girl stepped behind the wheel.
Prosecutors pointed out Monday no one in the vehicle was licensed to drive. The oldest was 17; the youngest 18 months -- all were from Uniondale.
State police said witnesses reported the SUV was racing and weaving in and out of traffic before it veered off the road in Hempstead in the middle of a beautiful afternoon, flipped over several times and landed right side up in thick brush. All three teens who died were ejected from the vehicle, which wasn't made with enough seat belts to accommodate that many people. The 2005 Chevrolet Trailblazer had been stolen the day before and the owner's son was killed in the crash, Newsday reported. The owner didn't know his son had taken it.
The girl was arrested Sunday and charged with three counts of manslaughter and three counts of criminally negligent homicide, New York State Police said. She is being charged as a juvenile in family court, where her lawyer denied those charges Monday.
The girl, who required surgery on her elbow for injuries sustained in the crash, appeared at her hearing with her arm in a sling. She was battling a fever as well, and the prosecutor said she may be suffering from depression.
The judge ordered she be taken to a hospital to undergo physical and psychiatric evaluation.
The girl has no criminal history. Prosecutors said charges could be upgraded, but didn't immediately elaborate on that. Her attorney says at the current time, the most she could face if convicted is two years in a juvenile detention center.
The victims have been identified as Herbert Leo Aviles Maravila, 16; Marlon Carbajal, 15; and David Sanchez, 13. The survivors have not been named.
The Uniondale high school is offering grief counseling to students this week.
"The Uniondale Union Free School District is heartbroken over the tragic lives from our community this afternoon," Superintendent William K. Lloyd said in a message posted online.