What to Know
- Five people died in the vehicle-obliterating Valentine's Day crash on Route 25 in Ridge
- Four of the victims were in one car, which burst into flames during the crash; a mom and her two adult kids were among the victims
- Police said one of the sedans was stolen; a passenger in that car was also killed
The 23-year-old man accused of zooming down a Long Island roadway at 154 miles per hour in a stolen car, causing a car-obliterating Valentine's Day crash that killed a mother, her two adult children and three other people will face upgraded charges of depraved indifference murder, among other felonies, court records show.
Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini called Route 25 crash in Ridge a Valentine's Day massacre as he announced the 42-count indictment against Jamel Turner.
Prosecutors said the stolen car was traveling at 154 miles an hour -- faster than commercial jets go to take off. Sini said the high speed was no accident: Turner had bragged to friends he would outrun police if they tried to stop him, according to Sini.
Turner, who was injured in the crash, which involved an oil truck, the car he was driving and two other vehicles, pleaded not guilty to aggravated unlicensed operation, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of stolen property at a hospital bedside arraignment in late February. He has been held since.
Turner's passenger, 19-year-old Lonidell Skinner, died -- the fifth fatality in the crash. The family who died was identified as Jacquelyn McCoy, 55, daughter Mary Alice Booker, 36, son Anthony McCoy, 33, and his girlfriend, Tameka Foster, 42. A person in a third sedan was not injured, police said, while the driver of the oil truck suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Video from the scene showed firefighters hosing down the smoking, charred wreckage of a car as police investigated on a road littered with auto parts and debris.
According to court records, charges in the indictment include fleeing police, manslaughter, endangerment and other crimes.
His attorney, Donald Mates, called the four-car crash an accident and said the murder charges are based on false allegations.
Turner's girlfriend, Janet Patterson, also defended the father of two, saying he's sorry for what happened and that he's "not a bad person."