June 18, 2012
Suffolk Man Pleads Guilty to Killing Two Men in Drunk Driving Crash on Wantagh State Parkway
Ramirez will serve five to 15 years in prison
MINEOLA, NY – Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced today that a Brentwood man has pleaded guilty to driving drunk and killing two men in an April 2011 crash on the Wantagh State Parkway.
Oscar Ramirez, 30, pleaded guilty last Friday to Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, two counts of Manslaughter in the Second Degree, and Driving While Intoxicated. A judge agreed to sentence Ramirez to five to 15 years in prison in exchange for his plea. Ramirez is due back in court July 26.
Rice said that at approximately 4:50 a.m. on April 30, 2011, Ramirez was driving a Ford Windstar minivan northbound on the Wantagh State Parkway when he side-swiped a Kia sedan just south of Hempstead Turnpike in East Meadow. The Kia, containing driver Larry Scuteri, 49, of West Islip, and passenger Daniel Gambardella, 46, of North Babylon, was pushed onto the east shoulder of the parkway and across the grass. The Kia then became airborne and struck a tree, killing Scuteri and Gambardella instantly.
Ramirez, who is in the country illegally and has no driver’s license, admitted that he drank nine beers that night and had a blood-alcohol content of .10% more than two hours after the crash. Scuteri and Gambardella were on their way to Manhattan where both men worked as members of the Carpenter’s Union.
“This is a devastating tragedy that could have easily been prevented if this defendant had chosen to put down his keys and call a cab,” Rice said. “Unfortunately, Oscar Ramirez made a different choice, and he must now face the repercussions of that decision.”
Assistant District Attorney Michael Bushwack of the Vehicular Crimes Bureau is prosecuting the case for the DA’s Office. Ramirez is represented by the Legal Aid Society of Nassau County.