Funeral Held for Victim in Long Island Limo Crash That Killed 4 Friends Celebrating Birthday - NBC New York

Funeral Held for Victim in Long Island Limo Crash That Killed 4 Friends Celebrating Birthday

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    Funeral Held for Victim in Long Island Limo Crash That Killed 4 Friends Celebrating Birthday
    Handout
    Amy Grabina

    Hundreds of mourners turned out for a funeral service for one of the four women who were killed when the limo they were riding in was t-boned by an alleged drunk driver in Long Island's wine country over the weekend. 

    Services for Amy Grabina of Commack were held at Gutterman Funeral Home in Woodbury Tuesday.

    Grabina was killed along with 24-year-old Lauren Baruch, 23-year-old Stephanie Belli and 23-year-old Brittney Schulman in Saturday's crash in Southold. Four other women, including a young bride, were injured. The group was out celebrating a birthday at the time of the crash. 

    Funeral services for the other three women who died are pending.

    4 Friends Killed in Limo Crash Mourned

    [NY] 4 Friends Killed in Limo Crash Mourned
    The four women killed when an alleged drunk driver T-boned the limousine they were riding in on Long Island while touring vineyards over the weekend are being mourned by friends and family. News 4's Pei-Sze Cheng reports.
    (Published Tuesday, July 21, 2015)

    Grabina, 23, was a beloved camp counselor who had recently landed a job at the business firm Ernst & Young, one friend told NBC 4 New York. Her father and her boyfriend delivered moving eulogies at the service. 

    Emotions were so raw outside the funeral home that no one from the crowd wanted to speak on camera. But the tragedy has struck a nerve on Long Island.

    "You have your whole lives ahead of you -- I just graduated like a lot of those women," said Jennifer Jamin, who was in the area from Astoria, Queens. "I don't know what I want to do but I have my whole life to figure it out, and it's just horrible that was taken away." 

    In a funeral program note, Grabina's family asked friends to share their memories of her by using #celebrateagrabina on social media, or emailing photos and memories to amygrabinamemories@gmail.com, or adding them to this photo-sharing site. They also asked that instead of sending items to the home, donations be made in her name to a Florida State University campus recreation program close to her heart.

    Earlier this week, Steven Romeo, 58, of Bethpage, pleaded not guilty to a charge of driving while intoxicated from his hospital bed at Eastern Long Island Hospital, about an hour's drive from Stony Brook University Hospital, where three of the four survivors were in various stages of recovery. 

    The limo tried to make a U-turn at the intersection of County Route 48 and Depot Lane when Romeo's truck plowed into them, Town of Southold police said. The limo driver told authorities he was turning to head westbound to take the women back to Smithtown and did not see the red pickup truck in the westbound lanes of the highway, Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said.

    A witness heading eastbound who reported seeing the "entire crash" -- including the limo making the U-turn, the pickup truck driving westbound and the impact -- told authorities the limo "was turning right in front of the truck and the crash occurred at that point," according to Spota.

    The limousine driver showed no evidence of being influenced by drugs or alcohol at the scene, Spota said, and chemical tests confirmed he was not intoxicated at the time of the accident.

    Spota said U-turns at the accident site are not prohibited, but limo drivers have been getting summonses for the way they are making the turns. They have to "swing way out" and "many are virtually blocking the two westbound lanes" as they turn around, Spota said.

    The limo driver, Carlos Pino, 58, of Bethpage, was also taken to an area hospital with injuries but was expected to survive. 

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