3 killed in DWI crash near catering hall in New Hyde Park; driver charged, Nassau police say

Three female passengers were killed in a late-night crash Saturday in front of a New Hyde Park catering venue on Jericho Turnpike, and a driver was charged with drunken driving and vehicular manslaughter, Nassau police said.

Detectives responded to the fatal collision in New Hyde Park at 11:11 pm Saturday, police said in a news release on Sunday morning. Police said Dante Lennon, who was driving a 2012 Mercedes-Benz sedan, struck the 2010 Lincoln Town Car with six occupants in the eastbound lane in front of 214 Jericho Tpke., the address of The Inn at New Hyde Park.

The three passengers in the back seat were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver and remaining passengers of the Lincoln were taken to local hospitals and are listed under stable condition.

Lennon, 22, of Freeport, was charged with three counts of vehicular manslaughter, vehicular assault and driving while intoxicated, police said.

Michael McCutchen, a security guard at the Inn who opened the door for the guests and saw them walk out Saturday night, said he heard the crash from the hallway of the venue.

“It sounded like a bomb went off,” he said Sunday. “He didn’t even stop. There’s no tire tracks or anything for stopping. He just went right through them.”

Witnessing the results of the crash, McCutchen said, was jolting.

“You see people get killed immediately. You were just with them five minutes before,” he said.

The crash was so loud that it woke up Anita McCallum, who lives in the house at the corner of Jericho Turnpike and Third Street. McCallum, who said she has lived at the home for 83 years, was asleep at the time of the fatal crash.

“I was in bed, and I heard this big bang,” she said Sunday morning. “I didn’t even hear a car screech. Just a loud bang.”

Lennon was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries, according to police. He will not be arraigned Sunday because of those injuries, a spokesman for the Nassau County District Attorney’s office said.

The investigation is ongoing.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

Leave a Comment