District Attorney

Posted on: May 13, 2016

Massapequa Man Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter for May 2015 Head-on Crash that Killed Passenger

Michael Bantel was impaired when he drove into pickup truck on Sunrise Highway

MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that a Massapequa man who killed his 28-year old passenger when he drove drugged the wrong way on Sunrise Highway and crashed head-on into a pickup truck pleaded guilty today to manslaughter.

Michael Bantel, 28, pleaded guilty before Supreme Court Justice Angelo Delligatti to Manslaughter in the 2nd Degree (a C felony), Vehicular Manslaughter in the 2nd Degree (a D felony), Driving While Ability Impaired by the Combined Influence of Drugs or Alcohol & Drugs (an unclassified misdemeanor) and Assault in the 3rd Degree (an A misdemeanor).

The NCDA is recommending that the defendant be sentenced to 4 to 12 years in prison. He is due back in court for sentencing on June 24.

“This case demonstrates how random the threat of dangerous driving is and why my office continues to write legislation to close the loopholes in our laws,” said DA Singas. “One young man was violently killed but another woman would have suffered the same fate if the innocent driver of the pick-up truck had taken her sedan that day. It has to stop.”

DA Singas said that on May 5, 2015, at approximately 4:45 a.m., Bantel was traveling eastbound on Sunrise Highway in Massapequa in a 2005 Nissan Maxima when he drove across the median into oncoming traffic, crashing head-on with a 2014 Ford F-150XLT pickup truck at the Hicksville Road intersection.

Bantel’s passenger, 28-year-old Anthony Sylvia, died from the resulting injuries soon after at Nassau University Medical Center. The 37-year-old female driver of the Ford and Bantel were treated for minor injuries. The defendant was impaired by more than one narcotic drug at the time of the crash.

The female victim had borrowed the pickup truck because her normal car, a sedan, was being serviced at the time.

Assistant District Attorney Katie Zizza of DA Singas’ Vehicular Crimes Bureau is prosecuting the case. Bantel is represented by Daniel Ollen, Esq.

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